For other uses, see Party (disambiguation).
"Pool party" redirects here. For other uses, see Pool party (disambiguation).
A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, recreation, or as part of a festival or other commemoration of a special occasion. A party will typically feature food and beverages, and often music and dancing or other forms of entertainment. In many Western countries, parties for teens and adults are associated with drinking alcohol such as beer, wine or distilled spirits.
Some parties are held in honor of a specific person, day, or event, such as a birthday party, a Super Bowl party, or a St. Patrick’s Day party. Parties of this kind are often called celebrations. A party is not necessarily a private occasion. Public parties are sometimes held in restaurants, pubs, beer gardens, nightclubs or bars, and people attending such parties may be charged an admission fee by the host. Large parties in public streets may celebrate events such as Mardi Gras or the signing of a peace treaty ending a long war.
Types of party
"Birthday party" redirects here. For other uses, see Birthday party (disambiguation).
A birthday party is a celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the person who is being honored. The tradition started in the mid-nineteenth century but did not become popular until the mid-twentieth century. Birthday parties are now a feature of many cultures.
In Western cultures, birthday parties include a number of common rituals. The guests may be asked to bring a gift for the honored person. Party locations are often decorated with colorful decorations, such as balloons and streamers. A birthday cake is usually served with lit candles that are to be blown out after a "birthday wish" has been made. The person being honored will be given the first piece of cake. While the birthday cake is being brought to the table, the song "Happy Birthday to You" or some other birthday song is sung by the guests.
At parties for children, time is often taken for the "gift opening" wherein the individual whose birthday is celebrated opens each of the gifts brought. It is also common at children's parties for the host to give parting gifts to the attendees in the form of "goodie bags". Children and even adults sometimes wear colorful cone-shaped party hats.
Birthday parties are often larger and more extravagant if they celebrate someone who has reached what is regarded in the culture as a milestone age, such as transition from childhood to adulthood. Examples of traditional coming of age celebrations include the North American sweet sixteen party and the Latin American quinceañera.
"Surprise party" redirects here. For other uses, see Surprise party (disambiguation).
A surprise party is a party that is not made known beforehand to the person in whose honor it is being held.
Birthday surprise parties are the most common kind of surprise party. At most such parties, the guests will arrive an hour or so before the honored person arrives. Often, a friend in on the surprise will lead the honored person to the location of the party without letting on anything.
The guests might even conceal themselves from view, and when the honored person enters the room, they leap from hiding and all shout, "Surprise!" For some surprise birthday parties, it is considered to be a good tactic to shock the honored person. Streamers, silly string, and balloons may be used for this purpose. Evidence of a party, such as decorations and balloons, are not made visible from the exterior of the home, so that the person honored will suspect nothing.
A dinner party is a social gathering at which people eat dinner together, usually in the host’s home. At the most formal dinner parties, the dinner is served on a dining table with place settings. Dinner parties are often preceded by a cocktail hour in a living room or bar, where guests drink cocktails while mingling and conversing.Wine is usually served throughout the meal, often with a different wine accompanying each course.
At less formal dinner parties, a buffet is provided. Guests choose food from the buffet and eat while standing up and conversing. Women guests may wear cocktail dresses; men may wear blazers.
At some informal dinner parties, the host may ask guests to bring food or beverages (a main dish, a side dish, a dessert, or appetizers). A party of this type is called a potluck or potluck dinner. In the United States, potlucks are very often held in churches and community centers.
A garden party is a party in a park or a garden. An event described as a garden party is usually more formal than other outdoor gatherings, which may be called simply parties, picnics, barbecues, etc. A garden party can be a prestigious event. For example, invitations by the British Sovereign to garden parties at Buckingham Palace are considered an honor. The President of France holds a garden party at the Palais de l'Elysée in Paris on Bastille Day.
Main article: Cocktail party
A cocktail party is a party at which cocktails are served. It is sometimes called a "cocktail reception". Women who attend a cocktail party may wear a cocktail dress. A cocktail hat is sometimes worn as a fashion statement.
Main article: Tea party (social gathering)
In Anglo-American culture, a tea party is a formal gathering for afternoon tea. These parties were traditionally attended only by women, but men may also be invited. Tea parties are often characterized by the use of prestigious tableware, such as bone china and silver. The table, whatever its size or cost, is made to look its prettiest, with cloth napkins and matching cups and plates.
In addition to tea, larger parties may serve punch or, in cold weather, hot chocolate. The tea is accompanied by a variety of easily managed foods. Thin sandwiches such as cucumber or tomato, bananas, cake slices, buns, and cookies are all common choices.
Formal receptions are parties that are designed to receive a large number of guests, often at prestigious venues such as Buckingham Palace, the White House or Government Houses of the British Empire and Commonwealth. The hosts and any guests of honor form a receiving line in order of precedence near the entrance. Each guest is announced to the host who greets each one in turn as he or she arrives. Each guest properly speaks little more than his name (if necessary) and a conventional greeting or congratulation to each person in the receiving line. In this way, the line of guests progresses steadily without unnecessary delay. After formally receiving each guest in this fashion, the hosts may mingle with the guests.
Somewhat less formal receptions are common in academic settings, sometimes to honor a guest lecturer, or to celebrate a special occasion such as retirement of a respected member of staff. Receptions are also common in symposium or academic conference settings, as an environment for attendees to mingle and interact informally. These gatherings may be accompanied by a sit-down dinner, or more commonly, a stand-up informal buffet meal.
Receptions are also held to celebrate exhibition openings at art galleries or museums. The featured artist or artists are often present, as well as the curators who organized the exhibition. In addition or instead, a celebratory reception may be held partway through or at the end of an exhibition run. This alternative scheduling allows guests more time to see the exhibition in depth at their own pace, before meeting the featured guests. Some food is often served, as in academic gatherings.
Refreshments at a reception may be as minimal, such as coffee or lemonade, or as elaborate as those at a state dinner.
In the 18th century, in France and England, it became fashionable for wealthy, well married ladies who had a residence "in town" to invite accomplished guests to visit their home in the evening, to partake of refreshments and cultural conversation. Soirées often included refined musical entertainment, and the term is still sometimes used to define a certain sophisticated type of evening party.
Society hostesses included actresses or other women with a larger-than-life reputation. The character of the hostess obviously determined the character of the soirée and the choice of guests.
Famous soirée hostesses include Hester Thrale.
Dances and balls
Main article: Dance party
A dance is a social gathering at which the guests dance. It may be a casual, informal affair or a structured event, such as a school dance or a charity ball. Dances usually take place during the evening. An afternoon dance is formally known as a tea dance. Some dances feature specific kinds of dancing, such as square dancing.
A ball is a large formal party that features ballroom dancing. Women guests wear ball gowns; men wear evening dress.
Main articles: Block party and Street party
A block party is a public party that is attended by the residents of a specific city block or neighborhood. These parties are typically held in a city street that has been closed to traffic to accommodate the party. At some block parties, attendees are free to pass from house to house, socializing, and often drinking alcoholic beverages.
Costume or fancy dress party
At a masquerade ball, guests wear masks to conceal their identities. Guests at a costume party or a fancy dress party wear costumes. These parties are sometimes associated with holiday events, such as Halloween and Mardi Gras.
Christmas caroling party
In English and American culture during the Christmas season, it is traditional to have a Christmas caroling party. People go from door to door in a neighborhood and sing Christmas carols. Some popular Christmas carols are "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", "Deck the Halls", "The Twelve Days of Christmas", "Frosty the Snowman", "Jingle Bells", "Silver Bells", "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", and "O Holy Night".
In Spain, this type of party is called El Aguinaldo. It is the same as in England and the United States, but the only difference is that the children who sing the carols are given tips. Christmas songs are called villancios in Spain; they are mainly sung by children at small parties.
Parties for teenagers and young adults
Dance parties are gatherings in bars or community centers where the guests dance to house music, techno music, or disco. The music for dance parties is usually selected and played by a disc jockey.
A spin-off of dance parties, the rave involves dancing to loud house music, techno music, or industrial music. Rave parties may be attended by as few as a score of people in a basement or, more likely, by a few hundred people in a club, to as many as thousands in a large warehouse, field, or even tens of thousands in a sporting arena, amusement park, or other large space. Raves are associated with illegal drugs such as Ecstasy and psychedelic drugs.
A house party is a party where a large group of people get together at a private home to socialize. House parties that involve the drinking of beer pumped from a keg are called keg parties or "keggers." These parties are popular in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia and are often attended by people under the legal drinking age. Sometimes, even older party-goers run afoul of the law for having provided alcoholic beverages to minors. Arrests may also be made for violating a noise ordinance, for disorderly conduct, and even for operating a "blind pig", an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages.
On college campuses, parties are often hosted by fraternities.
Outdoor parties include bush parties and beach parties. Bush parties (also called "field parties") are held in a secluded area of a forest ("bush"), where friends gather to drink and talk. These parties are often held around a bonfire. Beach parties are held on a sandy shoreline of a lake, river, or sea, and also often feature a bonfire.
A pool party is a party in which the guests swim in a swimming pool.
School-related parties for teenagers and young adults include proms and graduation parties, which are held in honor of someone who has recently graduated from a school or university.
Singles dance party and mixer
A singles dance party and mixer is a party which is organized for people who are not married and who want to find a partner for friendship, dating, or sex.
Usually a "mixer game" is played, to make it easy for people to meet each other. For example, each guest may be given a card with an inspiring quotation on it. The game is to find a potential partner who has the same quotation. Couples who have matching cards may be given a small prize.
These parties are sponsored by various organizations, both non-profit and for-profit.
A fundraising party, or fundraiser, is a party that is held for the purpose of collecting money that will be given to some person or to some institution, such as a school, charity, business, or political campaign. These parties are usually formal and consist of a dinner followed by speeches or by a presentation extolling whatever the money is being raised for.
It is very common to charge an admission fee for parties of this kind. This fee may be as high as several thousand dollars, especially if money is being raised for a political campaign.
In some places, parties to celebrate graduation from school, college or university are popular.
See also: Bridal shower and Baby shower
A shower is a party whose primary purpose is to give gifts to the guest of honor, commonly a bride-to-be or a mother-to-be. Guests who attend are expected to bring a small gift, usually related to the upcoming life event, like getting married or having a baby. Themed games are a frequent sight during showers as well.
Main article: Housewarming party
A housewarming party may be held when a family, couple, or person moves into a new house or apartment. It is an occasion for the hosts to show their new home to their friends. Housewarming parties are typically informal and do not include any planned activities other than a tour of the new house or apartment. Invited family members and friends may bring gifts for the new home.
A welcome party is held for the purpose of welcoming a newcomer, such as a new club member, a new employee, or a family's new baby.
In many cultures, it is customary to throw a farewell party in honor of someone who is moving away or departing on a long trip (sometimes called a bon voyage party). Retirement parties for departing co-workers fall into this category. Several are described in Japan in Shusaku Endo's 1974 novel When I Whistle.
A cast party is a celebration following the final performance of a theatric event, such as a play, a musical, or an opera. A party of this kind may also be held following the end of shooting for a motion picture (called a "wrap party") or after the season’s final episode of a television series. Cast parties are traditionally held for most theater performances, both professional and amateur.
Invited guests are usually restricted to performers, crew members, and a few others who did not participate in the performance, such as sponsors and donors who have helped fund the production.
A pre-party is a party that is held immediately before some event, such as a school dance, a wedding, a birthday party, or a bar mitzvah. These parties are usually of short duration and sometimes involve getting ready for the event (e.g., the guests may put on makeup or costumes). Guests usually leave at the same time and arrive at the event together. Often people engage in pregaming or drinking before an event or a night out, especially if the event lacks access to alcohol.
"Afterparty" redirects here. For Cool Kids of Death album, see Afterparty (album).
An after-party is a party that is held after a musical or theatrical performance or after some other event, such as a wedding or a school dance. Guests are usually limited to friends of the host.
Parties on special days
Main article: Holiday
Iran and other Persified societies
Parties associated with religious events
- Game party
- A social gathering during which the guests play party games or board games.
- LAN party
- A party that involves multi-player computer games and uses a Local Area Network.
- Party plan
- A form of direct selling, in which a party is used to sell products (for example, a Tupperware party).
- Political houseparty
- A party that is hosted in a private home for the purpose of supporting a particular candidate, political party, or ballot measure, or to share information and opinions about an upcoming election.
- Sleepover party, also called a pajama party or slumber party
- A party for which the guests are invited to stay overnight at the home of the host. These parties are usually for teenagers or young children.
- Toga party
- A party in which the guests wear togas.
Children at a birthday party
Beach party - Haifa, Israel (2011)
Young adults at a pool party
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Parties.|
- Melanie Doderer-Winkler, "Magnificent Entertainments: Temporary Architecture for Georgian Festivals" (London and New Haven, Yale University Press for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, December 2013). ISBN 0300186428 and ISBN 978-0300186420.
- Tung, Jennifer (2005). In Style Parties: The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining. New York: Melcher Media, Inc. ISBN 978-1-932994-11-7.
For other uses, see Birthday (disambiguation).
"Birth date", "Birthdate", and "Date of birth" redirect here; see also birth certificate.
A birthday is the anniversary of the birth of a person or an institution. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with birthday gifts, birthday cards, a birthday party, or a rite of passage.
Many religions celebrate the birth of their founders with special holidays (e.g. Christmas, Buddha's Birthday).
There is a distinction between birthday and birthdate: The former, other than February 29, occurs each year (e.g. January 15), while the latter is the exact date a person was born (e.g., January 15, 2001).
In most legal systems, one becomes designated as an adult on a particular birthday (usually between 12 and 21), and reaching age-specific milestones confers particular rights and responsibilities. At certain ages, one may become eligible to leave full-time education, become subject to military conscription or to enlist in the military, to consent to sexual intercourse, to marry, to marry without parental consent, to vote, to run for elected office, to legally purchase (or consume) alcohol and tobacco products, to purchase lottery tickets, or to obtain a driver's licence. The age of majority is the age when minors cease to legally be considered children and assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of their parents or guardians over and for them. Most countries set the age of majority between 18 and 21.
Many cultures have one or more coming of age birthdays:
- In Canada and the United States, families often mark a girl's 16th birthday with a "sweet sixteen" celebration - often represented in popular culture.
- In some Hispanic countries, as well as in Portuguese-speaking Brazil, the quinceañera (Spanish) or festa de quinze anos (Portuguese) celebration traditionally marks a girl's 15th birthday.
- In Nepal and India, on a child's first birthday, their head is shaved while being held by a special fire. Removal of the hair is believed to cleanse the child of any evil in past lives, and symbolizes a renewal of the soul. Hindu male children of some castes, like Brahmins, have the 12th or 13th birthday replaced with a grand "thread ceremony". The child takes a blessed thread and wears it, symbolizing his coming of age. This is called the Upanayana.
- In the Philippines, a coming-of-age party called a debut is held for girls on their 18th birthday, and for boys on their 21st birthday.
- In some Asian countries that follow the zodiac calendar, there is a tradition of celebrating the 60th birthday.
- In Korea, many celebrate a traditional ceremony of Baek-il (Feast for the 100th day) and Doljanchi (child's first birthday).
- In Japan there is a Coming of Age Day, for all of those who have turned 20 years of age.
- In British Commonwealth nations cards from the Royal Family are sent to those celebrating their 100th and 105th birthday and every year thereafter.
- In Ghana, on their birthday, children wake up to a special treat called "oto" which is a patty made from mashed sweet potato and eggs fried in palm oil. Later they have a birthday party where they usually eat stew and rice and a dish known as "kelewele", which is fried plantain chunks.
- Jewish boys have a bar mitzvah on their 13th birthday. Jewish girls have a bat mitzvah on their 12th birthday, or sometimes on their 13th birthday in Reform and Conservative Judaism. This marks the transition where they become obligated in commandments of which they were previously exempted and are counted as part of the community.
The birthdays of historically significant people, such as national heroes or founders, are often commemorated by an official holiday marking the anniversary of their birth.
- Catholic saints are remembered by a liturgical feast on the anniversary of their "birth" into heaven a.k.a. their day of death. The ancient Romans marked the anniversary of a temple dedication or other founding event as a dies natalis, a term still sometimes applied to the anniversary of an institution (such as a university).
A person's golden or grand birthday, also referred to as their "lucky birthday", "champagne birthday", or "star birthday", occurs when they turn the age of their birth day (e.g., when someone born on the 25th of the month turns 25 or when someone born on the ninth turns nine).
An individual's Beddian birthday, named in tribute to firefighter Bobby Beddia, occurs during the year that his or her age matches the last two digits of the year he or she was born.
In many cultures and jurisdictions, if a person's real birthday is not known (for example, if he or she is an orphan), then their birthday may be considered to be January 1. That tradition is followed with horses, their age becoming one, on the first day of the year following their birth and being counted annually after that.
In many parts of the world[vague] an individual's birthday is celebrated by a party where a specially made cake, usually decorated with lettering and the person's age, is presented. The cake is traditionally studded with the same number of lit candles as the age of the individual, or a number candle representing their age. The celebrated individual will usually make a silent wish and attempt to blow out the candles in one breath; if successful, a tradition holds that the wish will be granted. In many cultures, the wish must be kept secret or it won't "come true". Presents are bestowed on the individual by the guests appropriate to her/his age. Other birthday activities may include entertainment (sometimes by a hired professional, i.e. a clown, magician, or musician), and a special toast or speech by the birthday celebrant. The last stanza of Patty Hill's and Mildred Hill's famous song, "Good Morning to You" (unofficially titled "Happy Birthday to You") is typically sung by the guests at some point in the proceedings. In some countries a piñata takes the place of a cake.
Main article: Name day
In some historically Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries such as Italy, Spain, France, parts of Germany, Poland, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, and throughout Latin America, it is common to have a 'name day'/'Saint's day'. It is celebrated in much the same way as a birthday, but it is held on the official day of a saint with the same Christian name as the birthday person; the difference being that one may look up a person's name day in a calendar, or easily remember common name days (for example, John or Mary); however in pious traditions, the two were often made to concur by giving a newborn the name of a saint celebrated on its birthday, or possibly the name of a feast, for example, Noel or Pascal (French for Christmas and "of Easter"); as another example, Togliatti was given Palmiro as his first name because he was born on Palm Sunday.
Some notables, particularly monarchs, have an official birthday on a fixed day of the year, which may not necessarily match the day of their birth, but on which celebrations are held. Examples are:
- Jesus Christ's traditional birthday is celebrated as Christmas Eve or Christmas Day around the world, on December 24 or 25, respectively. As some Eastern churches use the Julian calendar, December 25 will fall on January 7 in the Gregorian calendar. These dates are traditional and have no connection with the actual birthday date of Jesus, which was an unknown date, likely around September or possibly early October.
- Similarly, the birthdays of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist are liturgically celebrated on September 8 and June 24, especially in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions (although for those Eastern Orthodox churches using the Julian calendar the corresponding Gregorian dates are September 21 and July 7 respectively). As with Christmas, the dates of these celebrations are traditional and probably have no connection with the actual birthdays of these individuals (and if Jesus was born in September or October, it would seem likely that John the Baptist, who was traditionally regarded to be six months older, was born around March or April).
- The Queen's Official Birthday in Australia, Fiji, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
- The Grand Duke's Official Birthday in Luxembourg is typically celebrated on June 23. This is different from the monarch's actual date of birth, which is on April 16.
- Koninginnedag in the Kingdom of the Netherlands was typically celebrated on April 30. Queen Beatrix fixed it at the birthday of her mother, the previous queen, to avoid the winter weather associated with her own birthday in January. The present monarch's birthday is 27 April, and is also celebrated on that day and has replaced the 30th of April celebration of Koninginnedag.
- The current Japanese EmperorAkihito's official birthday is December 23, which is a national holiday in Japan, whereas his actual date of birth is on November 12.
- The previous Japanese Emperor Showa (Hirohito)'s birthday was April 29. After his death, the holiday was kept as "Showa no Hi", or "Showa Day". This holiday falls close to Golden Week, the week in late April and early May.
- Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il's birthdays are celebrated in North Korea as a national holiday.
- Washington's Birthday, commonly referred to as Presidents' Day, is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates the birthday of George Washington. President Washington's birthday is observed on the third Monday of February each year. However, his actual birth date was either February 11 (Old Style), or February 22 (New Style).
- In India, every year October 2 which marks the Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, is declared as a holiday. All the liquor shops are closed across the country in honour of Gandhi not consuming liquor.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the United States marking the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around the time of King's birthday, January 15.
- Mawlid is the official birthday of Muhammad and is celebrated on the 12th or 17th day of Rabi' al-awwal by adherents of Sunni and Shia Islam respectively. These are the two most commonly accepted dates of birth of Muhammad.
According to a public database of births, birthdays in the United States are quite evenly distributed for the most part, but there tend to be more births in September and October. This may be because there is a holiday season nine months before (the human gestation period is about nine months), or because the longest nights of the year also occur in the Northern Hemisphere nine months before. However, it appears the holidays have more of an effect on birth rates than the winter: New Zealand, a Southern Hemisphere country, has the same September and October peak with no corresponding peak in March and April. The least common birthdays tend to fall around public holidays, such as Christmas, New Years Day and fixed-date holidays such as July 4 in the US. This is probably due to hospitals and birthing centres not offering labor inductions and elective Caesarean sections on public holidays.
Based on Harvard University research of birth records in the United States between 1973 and 1999, September 16 is the most common birthday in the United States and December 25 the least common birthday (other than February 29, because of leap years). In 2011, October 5 and 6 were reported as the most frequently occurring birthdays.
In New Zealand, the ten most common birthdays all fall within a thirteen-day period, between September 19 and October 1, corresponding to conception in December. The ten least common birthdays (other than February 29) are December 24–27, January 1–2, February 6, March 22, April 1 and April 25. This is based on all live births registered in New Zealand between 1980 and 2014.
According to a study by the Yale School of Public Health, positive and negative associations with culturally significant dates may influence birth rates. The study shows a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births and a 16.9% decrease in Caesarean births on Halloween, compared to dates occurring within one week before and one week after the October holiday. In contrast, on Valentine's Day there is a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births and a 12.1% increase in Caesarean births.
Time zones and birthminutes
A person's birthday and birthminute is usually recorded according to the time zone of the place of birth. Therefore, for example, if one is born on October 20 at 13:13 UTC+11 in Sydney, Australia, this would be recorded as October 19 at 19:13 UTC−7 in Los Angeles. Such a person, if spending his or her birthday in Los Angeles, would celebrate on October 19. Due to the irregularity of the International Date Line, no person would celebrate his or her birthday on the same day everywhere in the world, and a person born between 10:00 and 11:59 UTC would have three possible birthdays at various positions on the globe. (since the earliest time zone used in the world is UTC-12 and the latest is UTC+14).
In the Gregorian calendar (a common solar calendar), February in a leap year has 29 days instead of the usual 28, so the year lasts 366 days instead of the usual 365.
A person born on February 29 may be called a "leapling" or a "leaper". In common years they usually celebrate their birthdays on February 28. In some situations, March 1 is used as the birthday in a non-leap year since it is the day following February 28.
Technically, a leapling will have fewer birthday anniversaries than their age in years. This phenomenon is exploited when a person claims to be only a quarter of their actual age, by counting their leap-year birthday anniversaries only. In Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic operaThe Pirates of Penzance, Frederic the pirate apprentice discovers that he is bound to serve the pirates until his 21st birthday rather than until his 21st year.
For legal purposes, legal birthdays depend on how local laws count time intervals.
In cultures and religions
According to Herodotus (5th century BC), of all the days in the year, the one which the Persians celebrate most is their birthday. It was customary to have the board furnished on that day with an ampler supply than common: the richer people eat wholly baked cow, horse, camel, or donkey, while the poorer classes use instead the smaller kinds of cattle.
The Romans enthusiastically celebrated birthdays with hedonistic parties and generous presents.
Chinese birthday traditions reflect the culture's deep-seated focus on longevity and wordplay. From the homophony between 酒 ("rice wine") and 久 (meaning "long" in the sense of time passing), osmanthus and other rice wines are traditional gifts for birthdays in China. Longevity noodles are another traditional food consumed on the day, although western-style birthday cakes are increasingly common among urban Chinese.
In Judaism, the perspective on birthday celebrations is disputed by various rabbis, although today it is accepted practice by most of the faithful. In the Hebrew Bible, the one single mention of a celebration being held in commemoration of someone's day of birth is for the Egyptian Pharaoh which is recorded in Genesis 40:20.RabbiMoshe Feinstein always acknowledged birthdays. The Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged people to celebrate their birthdays, by gathering friends, making positive resolutions, and through various religious observances. According to Rabbi Yissocher Frand, the anniversary of a person's birth is a special day for that person's prayers to be accepted.
The bar mitzvah of 13-year-old Jewish boys, or bat mitzvah for 12-year-old Jewish girls, is perhaps the only Jewish celebration undertaken in what is often perceived to be in coalition with a birthday. Despite modern celebrations where the secular "birthday" element often overshadows the essence of it as a religious rite, the essence of a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah celebration is entirely religious in origin (i.e. the attainment of religious maturity according to Jewish law), however, and not secular. With or without the birthday celebration, the child nevertheless becomes a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, and the celebration may be on that day or any date after it.
Christianity: Early centuries
Origen in his commentary "On Levites" writes that Christians should not only refrain from celebrating their birthdays, but should look on them with disgust.
Orthodox Christianity in addition to birthdays, also celebrate the name day of a person.
Ordinary folk celebrated their saint's day (the saint they were named after), but nobility celebrated the anniversary of their birth. The "Squire's Tale", one of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, opens as King Cambuskan proclaims a feast to celebrate his birthday.
While almost all Christians accept the practice today, Jehovah's Witnesses and some Sacred Name groups refrain from celebrating birthdays due to the custom's pagan origins, its connections to magic and superstitions. While Christmas is the celebration of Christ's Birth, some religious groups see it as being portrayed in a negative light.
Some Muslim especially from Salafi school of thought oppose the celebration of a birthday as a sin, as it is considered an "innovation" of the faith, or bi'dah while other clerics have issued statements saying that the celebration of a birthday is permissible.
Some Muslims migrating to the United States adopt the custom of celebrating birthdays, especially for children, but others resist.
There is also a great deal of controversy regarding celebrating Mawlid (the anniversary of the birth of Muhammad). While a section of Islam strongly favours it, others decry such celebrations, terming them as out of the scope of Islam.
Hindus celebrate the birth anniversary day every year when the day that corresponds to lunar month or solar month (Sun Signs Nirayana System – Sourava Mana Masa) of birth and has the same asterism (Star/Nakshatra) as that of the date of birth. That age is reckoned whenever Janma Nakshatra of the same month passes.
Hindus regard death to be more auspicious than birth since the person is liberated from the bondages of material society. Also, traditionally, rituals & prayers for the departed are observed on 5th and 11th day with many relatives gathering.
Main article: Buddha's birthday
Many monasteries celebrate the anniversary of Buddha's birth, usually in a highly formal, ritualized manner. They treat Buddha's statue as if it was Buddha himself, as if he were alive; bathing, and "feeding" him.
Sikhs celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak.
In North Korea, people do not celebrate birthdays on July 8 and December 17 because these were the dates of the deaths of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, respectively. More than 100,000 North Koreans celebrate displaced birthdays on July 9 or December 18 to avoid these dates. A person born on July 8 before 1994 may change their birthday, with official recognition. Kim Il-sung's birthday, Day of the Sun, is the most important public holiday of the country, and Kim Jong-il's birthday is celebrated as Day of the Shining Star.
- ^Quinceañeras – Hispanic Culture. Bellaonline.com. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Birthday traditions. happy-birthday-wishes.eu
- ^Sacred Thread Ceremony[dead link]. hinduyuva.org (2006)
- ^Queen and anniversary messages. Royal.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2013-01-01. Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^Rabbi Shraga (2000-01-17) ABC's of Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Aish.com. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Golden birthday@Everything2.com. Everything2.com (2003-03-01). Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^A Firefighter's Theorem. Newyorker.com. Retrieved on 2014-12-27.
- ^Beddian Theory. Dustbury.com. Retrieved on 2014-12-27.
- ^On New Year's Day, wish a 'Happy Birthday' to 202,000 refugees. syracuse.com. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Cortright, Michael. "The Birth of Jesus Christ". www.cortright.org. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- ^"Articles". www.hwcoc.org.au. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- ^Blank, Wayne. "Bible Study - The Mother Of John". www.keyway.ca. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- ^Anybirthday. Anybirthday. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^ ab"Most common birthday in New Zealand". Statistics New Zealand. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- ^"How Common Is Your Birthday?". The New York Times. 2006-12-19.
- ^Christina Ng (2011-10-05) Oct. 5: America’s Most Common BirthdayABC News
- ^Greenwood, Michael. (2011-10-10) Halloween, Valentine’s Day Found to Influence Birth Timing. Publichealth.yale.edu. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^"Current UTC-12". www.timeanddate.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- ^"Current UTC+14". www.timeanddate.com. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- ^Hall, C. (February 29, 2008), "Leap Year Babies Hop Through Hoops of Joy, Pain of Novelty Birthday", Detroit Free Press
- ^electricpulp.com. "HERODOTUS iii. DEFINING THE PERSIANS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- ^"Internet History Sourcebooks". legacy.fordham.edu. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
- ^Kathryn Argetsinger (1992). "Birthday Rituals: Friends and Patrons in Roman Poetry and Cult". Classical Antiquity. 11 (2): 175–193. doi:10.2307/25010971. JSTOR 25010971.
- ^Li Xiaoxiang. Origins of Chinese People and Customs (2004) p. 101. Asiapac Books (Singapore). ISBN 9812293841.
- ^Reb Chaim HaQoton: Happy Birthday! April 17, 2007
- ^"Birthday in Torah". Just Asked. GatewaysOnline.com. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- ^Zvi (Far Rockaway) (2010-05-13). "Birthdays". Flatbush Jewish Journal.
- ^Chabad.org. "The Jewish Birthday".
- ^Rechel Weingarten (2010-05-13). "Birthday Celebrations". Flatbush Jewish Journal.
- ^John Bugge (1975) Early Christians,” notes The World Book Encyclopedia, “considered the celebration of anyone’s birth to be a pagan custom.” The ancient Greeks, for instance, believed that each person had a protective spirit that attended the person’s birth and thereafter watched over him. That spirit “had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born,” says the book The Lore of Birthdays. Birthdays also have a long-standing and an intimate link with astrology and the horoscope. 11 Besides rejecting birthday customs on account of pagan and spiritistic roots, God’s servants of old likely rejected them on principle as well. Why? These were humble, modest men and women who did not view their arrival in the world as so important that it should be celebrated. (Micah 6:8; Luke 9:48) Rather, they glorified Jehovah and thanked him for the precious gift of life.—Psalm 8:3, 4; 36:9; Revelation 4:11. Virginitas: an essay in the history of a medieval ideal, Springer ISBN 9024716950, p. 69
- ^Margaret Hallissy (1995) A Companion to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 0313291896, p. 300
- ^Awake! July 8, 2004, p. 30 "Religions refrain from any celebrations or customs that continue to involve false religious beliefs or activities that violate their principles. For example, their views definitely put birthday celebrations in a bad light."
- ^The World Book Encyclopedia: Vol. 3, p. 416
- ^Are Birthday Celebrations Christian?. Thercg.org. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Nahid Kabir Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity Edinburgh University Press 2012 ISBN 978-0-748-66996-7 page 45
- ^Birthday parties | IslamToday – English. En.islamtoday.net. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Souhail Karam (2008-08-31). "Birthday parties against Islam says top Saudi cleric". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-07-06.
- ^Mona H. Faragallah, Walter R. Schumm and Farrell J. Webb (1997). "Acculturation of Arab-American Immigrants: An Exploratory Study". Journal of Comparative Family Studies. 28 (3): 182. JSTOR 41603515.
- ^Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti Celebrating Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi. (PDF). Nooremadinah.net. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Salman Mohammed (2011-02-06) Milad un Nabi or Prophet Birthday : Celebrate or Not?. Systemoflife.com Article. Retrieved on 2013-01-01.
- ^Sarah J. Horton (2007) Living Buddhist statues in early medieval and modern Japan, Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 1403964203 p. 24
- ^Ju Seongha (2011-12-30) 北 김정은 시대 北 12월 17일生 사라진다. news.donga.com
- ^MacLeod, Calum (26 April 2013). "Korean defectors recall 'Day of the Sun'". USA Today. Contributing: Jueyoung Song, Duck Hwa Hong. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- ^Neville, Tim (15 February 2015). "Happy birthday? North Korea celebrates Kim Jong Il's legacy". CNN. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
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