Monday, October 1, 2012

What's in a Birthday?

Happy Monday - and here's to a great new month. I love October. Funny, as how I didn't used to. As a kid, I hated, I mean hated Halloween. I was never a big candy person and dressing up was nothing like it is today. Flash forward to today, and seeing everything through the eyes of your children. Now October hails a month-long time of fun and festivities. To make it even better, today is a celebration of one my son's birthdays.

Preparing for today had me thinking about birthdays in general. We mark birthdays to chronicle our age and events within that time period. Sometimes we have parties and gift-giving is a must. Well wishes, fond thoughts and the occasional boon is also common. So what were birthday's like in ages past?

Not quite like it is today. Some stories say a birthday "party" evolved from the belief that evil spirits would find you on your birthday. In order to keep them away, friends and family would surround the birthday person and shout, have fun and make a lot of noise to drive the evil away. (Sounds very Halloween-y to me).

In some cultures, if you were wealthy, you would have celebrations and presents and the like. If  you were poor, good luck finding someone who even remembered you were born on this day.

In other cultures, the day of your birth was never even celebrated. And for reasons I'm not entirely clear on, sorry to say. Some people simply celebrate an alternate day, such as a name day (which occurs after the birth date) or their Saints' day (if named after a Saint).

In our house, we usually have huge parties, but even these have died down a little. Today we're having pizza and cake and presents (every kid loves presents, don't ya know), and the best of all - I declared it a no school day!

So here's a cheer to birthdays and to October! Cheers to all!



  1. Love the history of why we celebrate a person's birthday, Ayla. At our house we have a birthday dinner. The person gets to pick whatever they want to eat. OMG, just realized--like their last meal.

  2. Wow. Never thought of it like that, but I can see where the correlation can be made. Thanks for the comment, Darcy!

  3. I like Darcy's comment. Last meal. Ha! We do that too. The birthday person picks dinner. Hope your little guy has a blast, Ayla. And hey, beginning of the scary season. How cool is that?

  4. Thanks, Marie. Hey, I like that tag: scary season. Very cool!