Yep, today’s m’birthday. The big 62. Big deal. Not. At this point, all my birthdays seems the same. I’m permanently stuck in time. I could be 50 for all I know. Or 68.
Here on the farm, we get to double-celebrate, because it’s my magazine designer, Carol’s, birthday too. We were born just three years apart on the very same day, and over the years, we’ve seen plenty of parallels in our personalities. Maybe there’s something to that astrology thing, after all.
I’m simply celebrating the day by taking the girls who work here (and Winnie, our Farmgirl Sister of the Year, who’s here for our Farmgirl Jubilee celebration) out to lunch, then spending quiet time with my family in the evening, but I thought it would be fun to find out how people have celebrated their birthdays over the ages and around the world.
Did you know …
• In ancient times, only kings had birthday celebrations.
• When you turn the age of your day of birth (if you’re born on the 6th, it would be when you turn 6), that’s called your Golden Birthday, Lucky Birthday, Grand Birthday, or Star Birthday.
• If you’re Chinese and you’re born on the same day as me, you’re a year older than me! The Chinese count your first year, which we don’t in the Western world. A newborn baby’s age is 1; at the end of their first year (12 months old), they’re 2. Glad I’m not Chinese today … just sayin’.
• The tradition of having a party on your birthday started because of a superstition that evil spirits were especially attracted to a person on their birthday, so the person’s family and friends would gather to protect the person with good wishes, festivity, and presents.
• If you’re Vietnamese, you’ll celebrate your birthday with every other person in Vietnam on Vietnamese New Year, or Tet, “Feast of the First Morning of the First Day,” in January or February.
• If you’re Hungarian, instead of getting birthday spankings, you get your earlobes pulled! The “puller” then wishes you well with the saying, “God bless you; live so long so your ears reach your ankles.”
• Koreans celebrate a person’s 60th birthday with a special celebration called hwangap. They believe that 60 is an auspicious year, the year when the Korean zodiac has completed its 60-year cycle. In ancient times, it was also uncommon for a person to live to the ripe old age of 60, so double reason for a celebration! Hwangap is now celebrated on a person’s 70th birthday.
• And the largest birthday celebration in the U.S.? No, not Mariah Carey, who’s known for her over-the-top love of holidays. It’s not even for a living person, and it’s not even held in the town of their birth. It’s for good, old George Washington, in Laredo, Texas, and the celebration started nearly 100 years after his death. The month-long celebration is now held every year in February and attracts over 400,000 celebrants to balls, festivals, parades, concerts, fireworks, and more.
Let’s just say I’m glad I’m not in Texas or Hungary, and I hope to celebrate my hwangap a few years down the road.