Published on Dec 10, 2019

Birthday Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

When it comes to occasions like birthdays, we all celebrate it with birthday cakes, balloons, chocolates and other mouth-watering delicacies. But things are not the same everywhere. Different countries have their very own way of celebrating birthdays. Let’s have a look at some of the most unconventional, yet interesting ways of celebrating this personal milestone.

Africa – Initiation Ceremonies are held in various African nations for groups of children instead of birthdays. Children on reaching a certain age are made to learn the laws, beliefs, customs, songs and dances of their tribes.

Argentina – On their 15th birthday, girls dance to the rhythm of the waltz with their father and other boys.


Brazil – Earlobe pulls. The birthday boy or girl receives a pull on the earlobe for each year they have been alive. The birthday person also gives the first slice of the birthday cake to his/her most special friend, usually mom or dad. At the age of 15 girls dance waltz with their father and grandfather. She dances with a total of 15 partners, each symbolizing a year of her life.

Canada – Greasing the nose with butter. In Atlantic Canada, the nose of the birthday child is greased for good luck. It is believed that the greased nose makes the birthday child too slippery for ill luck to catch them. This tradition is reputed to be of Scottish decent. In Quebec, the birthday person receives a punch for each year they are alive and then one for good luck.

China – In China, the birthday child pays respect to his/her parents and receives a gift of money. Friends and relatives are invited to lunch and are served noodles to wish the birthday child a long life.

Denmark – A flag is flown outside the window to indicate that someone in the house is having a birthday. Gifts are placed around the bed of the birthday child while they are asleep so they will see them immediately upon awakening.

Ecuador – When a girl turns 15, there is a great celebration and the girl dons a pink dress. The father puts on the birthday girls first pair of high heels and dances the waltz with her while 14 maids and 14 boys also dance along with them.

England – In England, certain symbolic objects are mixed into the birthday cake as it is being made. If your piece of cake has a coin in it, you will be rich. Besides that, when you are having your birthday, your friends give you the “bumps”, they lift you in the air by you hands and feet and lift you up and down to the floor, one for each year and then one for luck, two for luck and three for the old man’s coconut.

Germany – A member of the birthday person’s family wakes up at daybreak and lights candles on the birthday cake. The number of candles will be equal to the age of the birthday person, plus one for good luck. The candles are left burning all day long. That night, after dinner, everyone sings the birthday song and the birthday boy/girl blows out the candles. Presents are then opened and the party begins.

Guyana – Duck, chicken or lamb curry with rice are the main dishes for the birthday celebration. A family member bakes a fruit, black or sponge for the birthday girl/boy to cut. The birthday person will wear something fancy.

Holland – Special year birthdays such as 5, 10, 15, 20, 21 are called “crown” years. The birthday child receives a large present on a crown year birthday. The family decorates the birthday child’s dining chair with flowers, streamers and balloons. At school, the birthday child can give their classmates chocolates or other stuff to eat and the teacher makes the birthday child a special birthday hat made out of paper streamers and paper flowers.

Vietnam – Everyone celebrates their birthday on new year. Tet is not only the beginning of a new year, but it also means everyone’s birthday. The Vietnamese does not acknowledge the exact day they were born. A baby turns one on Tet, no matter when he/she was born that year. On the first morning of Tet, adults congratulate children on becoming a year older by gifting them red envelopes which contains “Lucky Money” or li xi. These envelopes are given to children by their parents, relatives, close friends and siblings.

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