Birthday Traditions in Different Countries

 

Canada - Greasing the nose with butter or margarine.  In Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland) the birthday child is ambushed and their nose is greased for good luck.  The greased nose makes the child too slippery for bad luck to catch them. This tradition is reputed to be of Scottish decent.  Birthday punches.  In Quebec the birthday person receives a punch for each year they are alive and then one for good luck.

China - Noodles for Lunch. The birthday child pays respect to his/her parents and receives a gift of money. Friends and relatives are invited to lunch and noodles are served to wish the birthday child a long life.

England - Fortune Telling Cakes and Bumps. Certain symbolic objects are mixed into the birthday cake as it being prepared. If your piece of cake has a coin in it, then you will be rich. Also, when its your birthday your friends give you the "bumps" they lift you in the air by your hands and feet and raise you up and down to the floor, one for each year then one for luck, two for luck and three for the old man's coconut!

India - Colored dress and chocolates. At school the birthday child wears a colored dress and passes out chocolates to the entire class, with the help of a trusted friend.

Italy - Pulling ears.  The child's ears are pulled as many times as how old they are turning.

Japan - New Clothes. The birthday child wears entirely new clothes to mark the occasion. Certain birthdays are more important than others and these are celebrated with a visit to the local shrine.

Mexico - Piñatas. The piñata, usually made out of paper mache and in the form of an animal, is filled with goodies and hung from the ceiling. The birthday child is blindfolded and hits the piñata until it is cracked open. All the children share the goodies. The song Las Mananitas is sung. Also, when a daugher is 15, the birthday is celebrated with a special mass in her honor. A party is then given to introduce her to everyone as a young woman. The father dances a waltz with her.

New Zealand - Birthday claps. After the birthday cake is lit, the happy birthday song is sung loudly and often out of tune and then the person birthday person receives a clap for each year they have been alive and then one for good luck.

Russia - Birthday Pies. Instead of a birthday cake, many Russian child receive a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust.

United States - Cake, candles and song. A cake is made, and candles are put on top based on how old the person is. Then everyone sings the "happy birthday" song, and at the end of the song, the birthday child blows out the candles. If they blow them all out with one blow, their birthday wishes will come true.

HAPPY B I R T H D A Y