How 10 Culturally Rich Countries Celebrate Birthdays.

The tradition of birthday parties started in Europe a long time ago. It was feared that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on their birthdays. To protect them from harm, friends and family would come to be with the birthday person and bring good thoughts and wishes.  This is how birthday parties began but they didn’t end there. Let’s see how families in 7 countries with diverse cultures celebrate birthdays.

USA and some parts of United Kingdom – The “cake smash” is a relatively new trend. On the first birthday, the baby gets to  smash up her cake, eat it and of course smash it up again. There is also the cheeseburger smash and donut smash.

Ghana – Children wake up to a special treat called “oto” which is a patty made from mashed sweet potato and eggs cooked in palm oil. Later in the day there is a birthday party stew and rice and “kelewele” (spiced fried plantain) is served. It’s common to find bottles of American soft drinks next to the child’s birthday cake.

Nigeria – The 1st, 5th, 10th and 15th birthdays are very special birthdays. They have huge parties with up to 100 guests or more. There is a feast consisting of an entire roasted cow or goat and of course, jollof rice.

Sudan – Children living the cities celebrate their birthdays  but not those living in the country-side. On the day of their birth, children usually drink a red punch named “karkady” which is made from hibiscus flower.

Egypt – Egyptians prefer celebrating with parties.There is lots of singing and dancing, lots of flowers and fruit which serve as décor and are symbolic of life and growth.

Mexico – the birthday star and adults have their face pushed into the cake in a gesture of good humor.

India – When a child is 6  months there is a ceremony where the baby eats her morsel of rice. The maternal uncle ceremoniously feeds the baby bits of food from a platter of local delicacies. The baby is allowed to choose from a plate of various objects, which could include books, money, a pen, or miniature sports equipment among many other options. “Whatever the baby grabs is considered what he or she is going to be good at in her life,”

Jamaica –  many people have flour thrown in their face on their big day.

China – a child chooses from a selection of toys and gifts that will determine his or her path in the future. Often, a dish known as “longevity noodles” is served after this ceremony.

Good luck to all those amazing mothers and carers organising birthday parties!

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