Birthday celebrations from around the world
When we think of a typical British birthday party, we tend to think of balloons, games, prezzies, and cake smothered with icing and topped with candles.
Did you know that you share your birthday with around 19 million people across the globe? So, as you hover over your cake while desperately trying to think of a wish, other birthday boys and girls will be celebrating turning one year older (and wiser) in very different ways.
Here are some of our favourite birthday customs from around the world – some brilliant, others totally bizarre…
China slurps noodles
In china, ‘longevity’ noodles are served to the birthday boy or girl for lunch. These noodles symbolise long life and are meant to be slurped until the child can slurp no more – then they are bitten. We’re sure table manners like these would have got us told off as kids.
Jamaica makes flour bombs
Forget smothering a cake in icing; in Jamaica, the birthday boy or girl is smothered with flour in a tradition called ‘antiquing.’ Not sure we want this custom to catch on in the UK, though…
Brazil gets its 5-a-day
We’ve heard of parents secretly adding healthy food to kids’ meals, but never this: in Brazil, kids eat sweets shaped like fruit and veg on their birthday! Oh, and they also get their earlobes tugged on – one tug for every year (this stops after childhood, thankfully).
Israel wears the crown
Kids in Israel get treated like royalty on their birthday (the way it should be, right?). Not only do they get to don a crown made from leaves and flowers, but their parents carry them around on a chair decorated with streamers as guests dance and sing around them.
Mexico whacks a horse
…Not literally, of course. Chances are you’ve tried your luck at winning the contents of a sweet-filled piñata in the past; and in terms of its fun factor, it’s definitely up there. Blindfolded kids hurling a heavy object around…what could possibly go wrong?
Germany takes it easy
German kids are lucky, because they’re never given chores or homework to do on their birthday. Parents will often decorate the whole house and instead of a cake, candles are placed in a wooden wreath on the dining room table.
Vietnam waits ‘till New Year’s Day
Everyone in Vietnam celebrates their birthday on New Year’s Day, which the Vietnamese call ‘Tet.’ The actual day people are born isn’t acknowledged at all, meaning if a baby was born in December they’d still turn one on January 1st!
The UK gets to Go Ape!
If you’re celebrating a birthday in the UK, you can swing through the trees, jump off platforms and whizz down zip wires. That is, of course, if you book a birthday party at Go Ape!
The birthday boy or girl can hang out with their mates on one of our Tree Top Junior courses, where they’ll get to enjoy an hour of canopy exploring, obstacle conquering and trail blazing! To make their day extra special, we offer a range of extras including party bags, a Go Ape t-shirt for the birthday boy or girl, and use of our forest shelter.
Adults can celebrate their birthdays in the forest too, choosing from our award-winning Tree Top Adventure or Forest Segway Experience. If you want to find out more, call one of our tribe today on 0333 355 9416.