list of birthday traditions from around the world

Birthdays are an important tradition all over the world. Do you know that it is estimated that you share your birthday with about 18 million other people around the world? Ever wonder if other people are doing something besides blowing out the candles on their favorite cake to celebrate their special day? Here are some interesting birthday traditions from around the world.

  • Birthday Tradition in Ireland
    • In Ireland the birthday child is lifted upside down and “bumped” on the floor for good luck.  The number of bumps given is the age of the child plus one for extra good luck.  Breithlá sona duit
  • Birthday Tradition in Australia
    • In Australia the children eat a dish called “Fairy Bread”. This is a popular snack and is buttered bread covered with tiny, sprinkles known as “hundreds and thousands”.  Happy Birthday!

list of birthday traditions from around the world |

Fairy Bread in Australia

  • Birthday Tradition in Vietnam
    • In Vietnam, everyone’s birthday is celebrated on new year’s day, or Tet. (The Vietnamese do not know or 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 presenting them with red envelopes that contain “Lucky Money,” or li xi. Chúc mừng sinh nhật
  • Birthday Tradition in Brazil
    • In Brazil, children eat candies shaped like fruit and vegetables. The houses are decorated for the occasion with festive banners and brightly colored paper flowers. Brazilians pull on the earlobes of the birthday boy or girl for each year of their birthday.  Feliz aniversário
  • Birthday Tradition in Russia
    • In Russia, birthday children usually receive a present at school. Teachers often give a gift to their student, such as flowers, pencils or books to celebrate their birthday. Other children in the class might give small handmade gifts as well. Russians may also receive a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust, instead of a cake.  S dniom roždenija
  • Birthday Tradition in Canada
    • In Canada, they serve homemade birthday cakes decorated with colored sugar sprinkles. Between the layers of the cake a wrapped coin might be found. Whomever finds it is the first to get a turn at all the party games. At the parties children receive colorful party favors called crackers. These are tubes wrapped in crepe paper. They pop when you pull a paper strip. Inside there is a small prize, your fortune or a hat.  Happy Birthday!
  • Birthday Tradition in Israel
    • In Israel the child who’s birthday it is wears a crown made from leaves or flowers and sits in a chair decorated in streamers. Guests dance around the chair singing. The parents lift the chair while the child sits in it.  Yom Huledet Sameakh
  • Birthday Tradition in Mexico
    • In Mexico there are two celebrations you have for your birthday. The first one is for your name or saint’s day which on this day you attend church. A priest blesses you. Then you go home to have a party that includes relatives and close family friends. The saint’s day party is much quieter and more formal. Children invite lots of friends to their parties, which always includes a pinata. This is a decorated bag or jug shaped like an animal. It’s filled with candles, toys, and coins. ¡feliz cumpleaños!
  • Birthday Tradition in Germany
    • In Germany the children are never given homework or chores on their birthday. On a child’s birthday the house is decorated, the dining table or kitchen has a special wooden birthday wreath placed in it. The wreath contains small holes for candles and a holder in the center for the life candle. This a taller candle and is beautifully decorated. This candle is lit each year of a child’s birthday until they reach the age of twelve.  Alles Gute zum Geburtstag

list of birthday traditions from around the world |

German Birthday Ring

  • Birthday Tradition in India
    • In India children wear new clothes on their birthday. A child may rise at daybreak and get dressed in new clothes. The child kneels and touches the feet of their parents as a sign of respect. They then all visit a shrine, where they pray and the child is blessed. In the afternoon there might be a meal that includes a spicy vegetable stew called curry and chutney which is a spicy fruit relish. The dessert is a treat known as dudh pakh, which is a rice like pudding. They might also stir in pistachios, almonds, raisins, and a spice called cardamom. To receive a birthday present wrapped in black and white is considered bad luck.  janmadin mubārak ho

What is your family’s birthday tradition?

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* These birthday traditions were found on

3 responses to “list of birthday traditions from around the world”

  1. Jimbob says:

    Think you may want to re-visit your entry about Vietnamese birthday customs, as what you have is very misleading at best, and condescending at worst. There may be some hill tribes who don’t know what exact day they were born, but the vast majority living in even the smallest hamlets know this information. It is recorded in a “family book” maintained at the local police facility. Birthdays are celebrated in a fashion not too different from western customs, particularly in the larger cities. 

  2. Audreyoka says:

    It’s been so long since I last visited. I loved reading about the traditions in these other countries. Everything from an upside down bump to sprinkled bread. What a fun post.

  3. Tabatha says:

    In our house, its all about the birthday kid!  They get a cake made by me, a banner hung up in the kitchen and they get to pick out what’s for dinner.  We also don’t make them do any chores that day.  If their birthday falls during a school night we do a family get together over the weekend where we invite close friends and family for cake and gifts.


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