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Birthday Lore - How Some of Our Traditions Started
| Candles | Cards
| Luck | Song
Customs Around the World
- Greeks used
to take cakes to the temple of the goddess of the moon,
Artemis. Round cakes were used to represent the full
made Geburtstagorten, a cake used for birthdays.
put candles on the round cakes they brought to Artemis
because it represented the glowing moon.
were known for candle making, making small candles for
- Some Germans
used one large candle in the center of the cake to represent
the "light of life."
- Smoke from
fires would carry their wishes to heaven. (wishing as
they blow out the candle)
out all candles at once to bring good luck (rather than
to grant the wish to come true as many believe today.)
- The tradition
of sending birthday cards started in England about 100
years ago (Motomora, 1989).
- Good luck
birthstone, flower, or colors are often given as gifts
to give good luck on a birthday.
"Happy Birthday to you..."
- The traditional
song used to celebrate birthdays was written by two
sisters in 1893 (Mildred and Patty Hill). Originally
it was written as "Good morning to you..." but then
changed to "Happy Birthday to you..."
Birthday Customs around the world:
- Japan used
to celebrate all Birthdays on Jan. 1, but today, most
Japanese celebrate on their true birth dates.
- In Korea
the most important birthday is the first birthday. The
child is dressed in special clothes and displayed in
front of a large gathering of friends and family members.
They feast and leave money for the 1 year old. The child's
future is told by the items he/she picks up.
- In China
and with India's maharajahs, reaching 60 years gains
respect for that person having made it the first cycle
is believed to be where many of our common birthday
traditions started such as cakes, parties, and blowing
have piñatas filled with candies and treats shaped
as animals or stars, a tradition over 300 years old.
- Many countries
name children after saints. They celebrate their birthdays
on that saint's day. The main focus is on the saint
on that day, the birthday celebration is secondary.
Birth Month Flowers:
- March, Daffodil
- April, Daisy
- May, Calla
- June, Rose
- July, Larkspur
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