Who can translate this text for this tuesday?
Instead of cake, Russian children are presented with pies, inscribed with a special birthday message.
"Birthday bumps" are given to Irish children in honor of their birthday. While held upside down, the birthday celebrant is gently bumped on the floor one time for every year of age - plus one extra "bump" for good luck!
Sending birthday cards is a custom that began in England about 100 years ago. Today, millions of cards are sent around the world each year to wish family and friends a happy birthday.
Another old tradition still practiced by some English people is to make a birthday cake with symbolic objects baked inside. In medieval times, objects such as coins and thimbles were mixed into the batter. People believed that the person who got the coin would be wealthy, while the unlucky finder of the thimble would never marry. Today, small figures, fake coins and small candies are more common. Guests are warned ahead of time as well, so no one injures their teeth or swallows a tiny treasure.
Danish people fly the country's flag outside their home to signify that someone in the family is having a birthday. And while the birthday child is asleep, gifts are placed around the bed, so presents will be the first thing in view when the child awakes.
Norwegian children dance in front of their class with a friend while the rest of the students sing a happy birthday song. Norway's national flag is also displayed outside the home of a birthday person. When important people have birthdays, the streets in Norway are decorated with flags.
Like Danish and Norwegian people, Swedes like to use their national flag to decorate on birthdays and special occasions. Swedish children are often served breakfast in bed. Birthday cakes in Sweden are similar to pound cakes and are decorated with marzipan.
United States of America
Throughout history, Native American tribes have placed significance on milestones in a child's development rather than the day he or she was born. The day children take a first step is cause for just as much rejoicing as when they get married or become parents.
The majority of American children, however, celebrate birthdays with a cake topped with lighted candles. Most families use the candles to represent how old a person is turning, (i.e., one candle for a one-year-old, etc.). When the cake is set before the guest of honor, he or she is supposed to make a wish (without telling anyone what it is) and blow out the candles. If all the candles go out with one breath, it's believed that the wish will come true!
Some children receive birthday "spankings", which were originally based on superstition, but are now more a birthday prank or joke. Hundreds of years ago, spankings were given for each year of the birthday child's life. Beyond that number, a child received another spanking to grow on, one to live on, one to eat on, one to be happy on, and yet another spanking to get married on. At one time, it was considered back luck if the birthday celebrant was not spanked because it was believed to "soften up the body for the tomb." Historians are unsure if the practice of swatting the birthday girl or boy was treated as a joke, as people view it today.
Singing "Happy Birthday to You" has also been a long-standing tradition on birthdays as well. It was written by two American sisters in 1893, and has been translated into several languages around the world.
Some birthday traditions are similar in many parts of the world birthday cakes, candles, cards, and parties. Other traditions are more specific to particular countries. Check out some special birthday customs for children in Africa, Holland, Israel, and elsewhere.
Some say the tradition of birthday cakes began with the ancient Greeks, who used to take cakes round to represent the full moon to the temple of their goddess of the moon, Artemis. Others contend the tradition began in Germany, where Geburtstagorten, a special cake the Germans were known for, was used for birthday celebrations.
The Greeks were said to have placed candles on the birthday cakes to make them look as if they were glowing like the moon, when offering them up to the goddess, Artemis. The Germans who were skilled candlemakers also placed candles on their cakes, but for religious reasons.
The tradition of sending birthday cards started in England about 100 years ago. Originally cards were often sent as an "apology" when a person couldn't visit somebody in person. Today we often send birthday cards even if we can!
The earliest birthday parties in history were held because people thought that evil spirits would visit them on their birthdays. They stayed close to their family and friends for protection. Later parties became social gatherings where friends and family would bring gifts or flowers to the person having their birthday.
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Special Celebrations in...
Initiation Ceremonies. Certain nations in Africa hold ceremonies for groups of children. The children learn the laws, customs, and beliefs of the tribe.
Earlobe Tugs. Children receive a pull on their earlobe for each year.
Noodles for Lunch. Friends and relatives are invited to lunch; noodles are served to wish the child a long life. In addition, the child receives money from both parents.
Flying Flags. A flag is flown outside a window to designate that someone inside is enjoying a birthday. Presents are placed around children's beds while sleeping.
Pink Dresses. When a girl turns 15, there's a great celebration. She puts on a pink dress and her first pair of high heels and dances the waltz with her father. Fourteen girls and fourteen boys pair up and dance the waltz alongside them.
Fortune Telling Cakes. Certain symbolic objects are mixed into the birthday cake as it's being prepared. If you uncover a coin in your cake, it's foretelling of future riches.
Crown Years. Even (2, 4, 6, etc.) birthday years are called "crown years." The child receives an especially large gift on the special crown year birthdays. In addition, the family decorates the child's chair with flowers.
Colored Dresses and Chocolates. At school birthday parties, the child wears a colored dress and passes out chocolates to their classmates.
Birthday Bumps. The birthday child is lifted upside down and "bumped" on the floor for good luck. The child receives a bump for every yearand one extra for good luck.
Chair Raising. The child sits in a chair while the family raises and lowers it, corresponding to the child's age, with one extra for good luck.
New Clothes. The birthday child wears entirely new clothes to mark the occasion.
Pinatas and Mass. A pinata is filled with goodies and hung from the ceiling. While blindfolded, children take turns hitting it until it's cracked open. Also, when a girl turns 15 in Mexico, a special mass is held to honor her.
Birthday Day. The birthday child stands in front of the class and chooses a friend to dance with while the class sings the happy birthday song.
Cakes and Noodles. Birthday cakes are baked in various shapes and sizes. The celebration includes noodles representing a long life balloon decorations, and pinatas.
Birthday Pies. Instead of a birthday cake, the child receives a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust.