Today I am turning 17! I am very blessed to have been fortunate enough to see the as much of the world as I have at such a young age. I’d like to quickly thank my parents for always supporting me and helping me achieve my dreams. Whether it be leaving for girl scout camp in the 3rd grade or taking a gap year abroad, they have always been behind me 100%.
As I am preparing for my year abroad I have been thinking a lot about cultural traditions. With today being my birthday I thought this is a great opportunity to share how other cultures celebrate birthdays.
In Germany they say “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag” which directly translates to “all good for birthday.” German birthday parties are similar to those in America. Except for a few traditions… If you are turning 16 you are likely to get a sack of flour on your head. If you’re 18 you will probably have to escape your party to shower because your friends will crack an egg on your head. If you turn 25 and you aren’t married you are paraded around your town being called an “old maid” or “confirmed bachelor.”
In Costa Rica a birthday party consists of lots, and lots of family. There is a crazy amout of food to accommodate all the hungry stomachs including a “pierna” (leg of pork) that is slow cooked all day long. Then when it is ready everyone gets a tortilla, rice, and a small piece of pork. Pinatas are always a must and are filled with hard candy.
Do you like butter on your nose? If you live in Canada you are going to learn to like it because children’s noses are buttered to help them slip away from bad luck. If you are lucky enough you might even find some money in your cake. One quarter and other change is wrapped and baked in a cake. If you get the piece with the quarter you are supposed to have the most wealth for the next year!
In India if it is your birthday and you are below the tenth grade you hand out chocolates to your classmates and wear colorful clothing. Also your teachers don’t give you homework! At home your family and friends travel to celebrate with you and pray. The two most important birthday’s in India are your first and your sixtieth.
Want to be a musician when you grow up? Sorry, when you were one you picked a stethoscope rather than a microphone. You are going to be a doctor. In South Korea a ritual called “doljabi” is performed on your first birthday. The baby sits in a circle of objects such as microphones, stethoscope, thread, pencil, money, golf club, etc. Each object represents a path in the child’s future.
I guess I have to watch out for my next birthday, 18 seems like an unlucky number in some cultures!
This information was found on this website.