Birthday Traditions Around the World



Africa

Children learn birthday dances and go through an initiation ceremony on their birthday. They have a great time!

Argentina

Girls will have a special birthday party that symbolizes the transformation into womanhood when turning 15. They'll wear a white dress, similar to a wedding dress, and have a dance at what will be her biggest birthday party. They will get money inside birthday cards.

Aruba

School children will bring birthday gifts for their classmates.

Bolivia

A young woman will have a special birthday party that symbolizes the transformation into womanhood when she turns 15. She'll wear a white dress, similar to a wedding dress, and have a dance at the party.

Brazil

Most girls have special birthday party that symbolizes the transformation into womanhood when becoming 15. They'll wear a white dress, similar to a wedding dress, and have a dance at the party.

Canada

Children grease their noses with butter to prevent bad luck on their birthday.

China

Children eat noodles for lunch, and receive money from their families on their birthday.

Cuba

Everyone in the neighborhood is invited to birthday parties that will have music, food, piñatas and cake.

Denmark's

Flags are put outside the windows so everyone knows someone in the house is having a birthday.

Educator

Similar to the traditions in Mexico and South America, girls will have a big party when they turn 15, but will have a pink dress instead of white.

German

Candles are lit for the entire day of someone’s birthday.

Ghana

People will have a special birthday meal, which can sometimes include brown rice, beans and corn beef.

Holland

On fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth and twenty-first birthdays, people receive an extra special birthday gift.

Hungary

While people are opening birthday gifts and birthday cards, family and friends will pull on their earlobes and say a rhyme for good luck.

India

People wear colorful clothing and eat chocolate on their birthdays.

Ireland

Children are held upside-down and their heads are bumped on the floor on their birthdays for each year that has passed.

Israel

Children are lifted on a chair while adults raise the chair according to the number of years that have passed.

Japan

People wear new clothes, and visit a temple shrine on their birthday.

Korea

On the first birthday, a baby chooses and item off a table with a pencil, ruler, thread and money. Whatever the baby picks up will predetermine if the child is a good scholar, good at building things, have a long life, or will be rich.

Mexico

A girl will have a special birthday party that symbolizes the transformation into womanhood when she turns 15. She'll wear a white dress, similar to a wedding dress, and have a dance at the party.

New Zealand

People clap for the number of years passed and the birthday person blows out candles on a birthday cake.

Russia

People eat pies instead of birthday cakes with a birthday greeting carved in the crust.

Scotland

Children get a pound note for every year that has gone by, and a punch for each year of their age on their birthdays.

South Africa

Children are given a key on their birthdays to symbolize that they are ready to unlock what the future holds.

United States

People celebrate with birthday cake, music, singing and birthday gifts.

Vietnam

Everyone celebrates their birthday on New Year's Day, called "tet." They get red envelopes of money.

Germans

Birthdays were usually only celebrated by nobility until the Germans began the practice of celebrating children’s birthdays called “kinderfeste.”

Greeks

Putting candles on a cake came from ancient Greek goddess worship when people would bring cakes with candles that symbolized the moon to the temples.

North America/ Europe

The Western custom of having a party on the day of your birth, giving gifts, singing songs, and blowing out candles to make a wish came from pagan European superstitions that evil spirits were attracted to people on their birthday, and so people would gather and cast spells to protect that person.

free shipping
Legal Stuff