Today is my Birthday! Woo-hoo! Have you ever wondered where the whole idea of birthday celebrations came from?
Did you know that while we typically celebrate birthdays today with cake, treats, family and fun, the history of birthday parties was not always such a jovial occasion? Such is seen in Europe’s history thousands of years ago.
Originally, a person feared their upcoming birthday. It was seen as a fearful experience because people believed bad spirits could harm you on this day.
Birthday parties were devised as a way to keep those spirits away by surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones who often brought small tokens and food to share.
People would use noisemakers to scare off any evil spirits that may be lurking around the house.
It was in the middle ages that birthday parties began to take on a more celebratory state and the tone turned more positive. But they were not yet commonplace amongst peasants. In fact, most birthday parties were only celebrated by royalty or the very wealthy.
It wasn’t until reformation that the birthday party became a more common occurrence in England. People then began to make cakes and treats for the birthday person and would often tuck small fortune tokens into the cake for guests.
It is thought that childrens birthday parties originated in Germany and was called Kinderfeste.
Over time, birthday parties have evolved from small gatherings to ward away evil spirits, to wealthy or royalty held events to what is now known as our modern birthday parties.
In fact, most people celebrate with some sort of party, especially children. A cake is typically commonplace and almost always is alit with birthday candles, which the birthday person gets to blow out and make a wish.