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The History of Birthdays (Part II)

The History of Birthdays (Part II)

Since our readers enjoyed our first post all about the history of birthdays, we thought we’d share even more fun birthday facts that you may not know. Isn’t it funny that we all do similar things on our birthdays without any thought about how or why we do them?             For instance, where did the idea come from to wear pointy hats? Why do we give gifts? And who came up with that birthday song in the first place? Read on for some fun and interesting information regarding the special day each one of us celebrates.

Pointy Party Hats

The History of Birthdays (Part II)

Though there is no one origin of the pointy party hat, this distinctive headgear has been around at the very least since     2800 BC, and was recognized as a symbol of power or status:

  • In ancient Egypt, only the nobility were allowedThe History of Birthdays (Part II)      to wear pointed hats as a symbol of their elevated status above their subjects. The different designs made individual pharaohs identifiable to their subjects.
  • In medieval Jewish traditions, some people started wearing cylindrical hats secured around the chin to distinguish themselves in Christian Europe. These hats were higher and more pointed than the traditional Jewish Kippah of today.
  • It was believed that witches and wizards wore pointed hats because the hats   were representations of the cone  of power.The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)

 

  • CaThe History of Birthdays (Part II)tholic princesses and noblewomen                                   in Medieval Europe would wear                                             cone-shaped hats intricately decorated                           with long veils, precious jewels, and even                         intricate butterfly and flower detailing.

 

 

 

  • The party hat can also be traced to the dunce cap, worn by misbehaving or poorly
    performing schoolchildren from the mid-19th century to the The History of Birthdays (Part II)early 20th century, signifying that the wearer engaged in frivolous and foolish behavior—naturally what we all expect of the birthday person on their special day!

 

 

 

Overall, these cylindrical birthday hats continue to be the proud tradition in many different cultures, with the point of the hat elevating the wearer to the status of royalty—which, we all agree, a person becomes on their birthday.

Giving Birthday Gifts

One theory regarding the giving of birthday gifts dates back to early Europe, when people believed that evil spirits would seek out and haunt someone on his or her birthday, most importantly the king.The History of Birthdays (Part II) Therefore, on one’s birthday, people would gather to protect that person and would bring with them good wishes. These gatherings later became our modern day birthday parties, and over time, people brought more than just good wishes to ward off evil spirits; they brought presents, too.

 
Who Wrote The Birthday Song?

The History of Birthdays (Part II)According to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, and its lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. But where did it come from?

In 1893, sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill wrote a song they called, Good Morning to All,” which was part of the book Song Stories for the Kindergarten and was intended to be sung by students before classes began. As the song caught on across America, it developed a number of variations, becoming “Good Morning to You” and then, in 1924, Robert Coleman published a songbook and added a few extra lyrics that would quickly come to overshadow the original lines and came to be the rendition we all know today, “Happy Birthday to You.”

The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)

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The History of Birthdays

The History of BirthdaysIt’s a day that’s all about you – it’s your birthday! Celebrating the anniversary of the day you were born is a common thing, but have you ever wondered where the tradition began? Early man didn’t have a concept of time, or know how to calculate events. Marking the passage of time only became customary with the invention of calendars, which came about from the ability to read lunar cycles.

So where did we get some of the many traditions that come with birthdays?

Noisy Parties

Birthdays are often celebrated across many cultures (often with gifts, parties, etc.), but some say the tradition of birthday parties started inEurope. The superstition stated that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on their birthdays, so to protect the birthday boy or girl, family and friends would visit. Apparently, bringing good wishes and lots of noise kept the spirits away! This is why many parties are filled with noise makers, music and lots of laughter. So break out the party favors and crank up the tunes!

Cake and Candles

A birthday celebration isn’t complete without a cake and candles! Some think the cake tradition started with the Greeks, who would take a round or moon shaped cake to thetemple of Artemis- the Goddess of Moon – to celebrate. They would then light candles on the cake to make it glow like a moon because they believed that gods lived in the sky and that lighted candles helped to send a signal or prayers.

Others think it was a German custom, as they would bake bread into the shape of baby Jesus’ swaddling cloth to mark the occasion. They’d then place a large candle in the middle of the cake, symbolizing ‘the light of life’.

And what about blowing out those flames? Candles are placed on a Birthday cake and a silent wish is made before blowing out the candle. Some say that blowing all candles out in one breath means the wish will come true and the person will have good luck in the coming year. Why? Early traditions believe that the rising smoke takes your wishes and prayers up to God. Regardless of what you believe, don’t let the flames burn too long – it’s bad form to let all of the wax melt all over the cake!

Dates

What’s the most popular birth date in theUnited States? October 5 holds this honor, while May 22 is the least common birth date.

So whether your birthday is today, or a full year away – happy birthday to you and yours! What do YOU do to celebrate your special day?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday

http://www.tokenz.com/history-of-birthday.html

http://www.tokenz.com/history-of-birthday-cake.html

http://www.ehow.com/about_5076732_history-birthday-candles.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_cake

The History of BirthdaysThe History of BirthdaysThe History of BirthdaysThe History of BirthdaysThe History of BirthdaysThe History of Birthdays