The Birthday Tree

Day 364    December 31, 2013

“If everybody was treated like they matter — everyday, birthdays wouldn’t be so *special.*” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Create a new birthday song or tradition.” -from 365 A Daily Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin

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The Birthday Tree –  Make a picture or poster of a tree, or better yet – plant a real one in honor of the birthday person.  Each year add stickers, cut-out shapes, or wooden ornaments to the tree according to the age of the person celebrating.  Watch the tree bloom over the years!

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” ― William Shakespeare

Special Celebrations in…Africa – Initiation Ceremonies. Certain nations in Africa hold ceremonies for groups of children. The children learn the laws, customs, and beliefs of the tribe.

  • Argentina – Earlobe Tugs. Children receive a pull on their earlobe for each year.

  • China – 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.

  •  Denmark – 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.

  • Ecuador – 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.

  •  England – 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.

  • Holland – 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.

  • India – Colored Dresses and Chocolates. At school birthday parties, the child wears a colored dress and passes out chocolates to their classmates.

  • Ireland – Birthday Bumps. The birthday child is lifted upside down and “bumped” on the floor for good luck. The child receives a bump for every year—and one extra for good luck.

  • Israel – 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.

  • Japan – New Clothes. The birthday child wears entirely new clothes to mark the occasion.

  • Mexico – 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.

  • Norway – 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.

  • Philippines – Cakes and Noodles. Birthday cakes are baked in various shapes and sizes. The celebration includes noodles — representing a long life — balloon decorations, and pinatas.

  • Russia – Birthday Pies. Instead of a birthday cake, the child receives a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust. 

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About 365MissionalPractice

Love God, Love Christ, Love Others. I am passionate about creating Missional Relationships that encourage disciples to personify Christ's message. As a minister in a Community of Christ congregation in Virginia I am learning everyday what it means to be vulnerable, to risk, to experiment, to share in a world that needs the redemptive healing of Christ. View all posts by 365MissionalPractice

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