Birthday traditions around the world 

by Jennifer Janelle
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Let’s admit it: Birthdays are exciting. But hey, not everybody has the same way of celebrating it. While some might spend quality time with their loved ones, the rest of them might prefer doing things by themselves on their birthdays. It’s safe to say the celebration options are different for everyone! 

From celebrating a birthday with cakes and chocolate gifts to slurping noodles, here’s how everyone does it differently:


Indians have the best and the simplest birthday tradition. They mark the day by singing birthday songs and cutting a cake with their closest people. Once the cake is fed to everyone, people give presents, be it regular ones or personalised gifts to the birthday person. Some of the all-time favourite presents are chocolate gifts, watches, jewellery, and so on. 


Now, if there is any birthday tradition around the world that you will enjoy the most, it is Australia’s. Not only do they mark the day with an outdoor barbeque party but also with a special birthday dish called the fairy bread. It is nothing but a slice of thick bread splattered in yellow butter and some colourful candy sprinkles. Amazing, right? Told you! 


Brazilians are every baker’s nightmare on a birthday. You know why? They begin the celebrations by throwing flour on the face of the person. A little traumatising, eh? Well, it gets even worse when the Brazilian kids step in. They show some love on birthdays by throwing eggs too! 


In China, birthdays are usually a binge-fest. The Chinese people mark the day by eating and slurping a plate of long egg noodles. Why? Well, these noodles symbolise longevity and every slurp equals long life. Now, isn’t that one delicious way to commemorate a birthday, people? Hell yes 😀


Now, brace yourself as the Danish have an unconventional birthday tradition. As an ode to the bachelorette specimen, the people in Denmark tie single men and women above 25 years to a chair and douse them in cinnamon. But if these Danish people are unmarried even after crossing their 30s, the cinnamon is swapped for pepper mixed with eggs. 


The weirdest of them all! In Germany, men that are single on their 30th birthday are dressed in drags to sweep the steps of the City Hall until they find a virgin to kiss. However, this ancient birthday tradition died down long back. Ever since the Germans celebrate their birthdays by getting drunk. And hey, guess what? They sweep off the steps or do some chore to proclaim they are ‘eligible’ for a marriage. 


Here’s a fun fact about Vietnamese: While everyone celebrates it on their birth date, they celebrate their birthdays on New Year’s Day. This popular birthday tradition is known as ‘tet’ amongst the Vietnamese. Interesting, eh? 

Today, the western ideas of celebrating birthday with cakes, personalised birthday gifts, and candles have surely caught up in the rest of the world. However, some countries still follow the age-old birthday traditions!