Birthday Celebration Around the World


While scientists are trying to determine the origin of birthdays, we can enjoy the diversity of possible ways to celebrate the day when we came to this world. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of birthday parties but celebration traditions from other nooks of the world make me think… Maybe this year I should celebrate my birthday mixing several traditions at once? So here’s the list of the ones I liked most of all.


If you’re celebrating your birthday in this country, you can feel how it is to “bump” the floor. You doubt? Well, the Irish don’t. On a birthday adults turn a child upside down (or maybe your friends can do this with you) and then raise him/her up and down to the floor. One “bump” for each year. Are you celebrating 21? Get 22 bumps then! Irish people are big hearted so they’ll add an extra bump for good luck!


The birthday cake is a “must” in this Nordic country but here it looks like a man or a woman (depending on whose BD party it is, of course). So why not to bake such a cake? And also, people hang a national flag outside the window to designate there is a person in the house who’s having a birthday. Have you got a flag with your national colours yet?


Birthday here isn’t as big a celebration as in the West. Until the mid of the 20th century the Japanese traditionally celebrated a person turning a year older on New Year’s Day (as well as in Vietnam and China, for instance). However, in recent years, the influence of the the West penetrated the Japanese culture and nowadays people often celebrate their birthday on the day of the actual birth. There exist no restrictions regarding celebration of a birthday but majority of people used to congratulate parents for giving a birth to a child. So how about a present to your parents?


In Atlantic Canada the birthday person is ambushed and his/her nose is greased! Canadians do it for good luck… Thus the nose is slippery and bad luck will hardly catch a person. Hah!

P.S. My Canadian friend from Toronto hasn’t ever heard about it so… Distance matters. 😀


Birthday cake is a traditional element of celebration as in many other places. But the peculiar thing is the celebrant chooses someone to whom he gives the first piece of cake. Usually this is the closest person. Usually it’s a mom. ❤


The celebrant usually wears a crown made from leaves or flowers and sits in a decorated chair. Guests may lift a person several times corresponding to the person’s age. And + 1 for extra good luck! Being in a kindergarden guarantees you’ll experience this though this fun tradition is more for guys and they do it approximately till the age of 30. 

North Africa

This is my favourite part! According to the Internet sources some tribes in North Africa usually don’t have any traditions connected with birthdays… They hardly celebrate them! They may celebrate birthdays once in 8 or 13 years. And in some parts they do it twice in life: when they are born and at the age of 52! Of course, this rule refers only to tribes. Other people in this region are definitely civilized. 🙂

P.S. Hey! Are you from any of these countries? Great! If it’s not true in your region/family, let me know! 🙂 

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