If in the UK it is customary to blow out candles on a cake to celebrate getting a year older, in China, there’s neither fire nor flour associated with it, but extremely long noodles, which are a symbol for longevity, and are eaten every ten years to celebrate the decade. Because traditions are not the same in every country. Here are 12 entertaining cultural differences from around the globe, in how people celebrate their birthdays.
1/ In China, they don’t eat cake, but noodles, on their birthday, which they celebrate every 10 years.
In China, they don’t eat birthday cake but extremely long noodles, which are symbols of longevity (the longer they are, the more prosperous your life will be). Further more, they don’t celebrate their birthdays every year like we do, but every ten years.
2/ In Canada, you spread butter on your nose
In the land of the reindeer, the person who is celebrating their birthday has their nose greased with butter!
3/ In Vietnam, everyone celebrates their birthday at the same time
In Vietnam, individual birthdays are rare: they are often celebrated at the same time as the Vietnamese New Year.
4/ In Denmark, people put the country’s flag outside their door, to indicate that someone in the house has a birthday
When it is a child who celebrates their birthday, presents are left under their bed while they are asleep. The Danish flag is also hung outside the door, to indicate that there is a birthday in the house. From a culinary point of view, there is a cake in the shape of a man or a woman, depending on the person’s gender, and you start by cutting off the head!
5/ In Brazil, you pull people by the ears
Brazilians have a funny birthday tradition: pulling on the earlobe of whoever is celebrating their birthday! A tradition that they share with Hungary, who also sing a song at the same time.
6/ In the United Kingdom and Ireland, they bounce people up and down in the air
In the UK we take our children like rugby balls, while they are trying to blow out their candles! This is what is called the birthday bumps, and involves a group of people lifting the birthday boy or girl by their hands and legs and bouncing them into the air. The number of bounces corresponds to their age. After 5 years of age, it can start to take a while…