Birthday Celebrations Around the World

Jun 25, 2018 / By Katherine Rea

In honor of our Atlas Crate launch, we’re looking at common connections between kids all over the world. One of the most important things we have in common are birthdays! No matter how we celebrate them, growing up is a time for family and friends to come together. Let’s take a look at different traditions for birthday celebrations around the world!

United States

Here in the United States, we celebrate birthdays with cake, ice cream, a party with games, and presents.



Annaprashana is a Hindu ceremony held for babies when they are old enough to eat their first solid food. A morsel of rice is fed to the baby by his or her maternal uncle (Mom’s brother). Then, the baby gets to pick from an assortment of objects like a pen, books, some food, soil, or gold. It’s said that whatever the baby grabs represents their future!



For a child’s first birthday, they get to choose between objects, similar to the Annaprashana. But in China, this event is called Zhuazhou, which literally translates to “pick” and “anniversary.” The objects are thought to predict the child’s future career path, and can include things like a stethoscope, musical instruments, scissors, money, and a calculator. Afterwards, a dish known as “longevity noodles” are served. If you can eat them without biting through the strands, it’s considered more lucky!



In Russia, it’s bad luck to celebrate or wish someone happy birthday before their actual birthdate! So when you celebrate, it’s important to do it on or after the day. Another fun tradition is that bags of little treats and small prizes (party favors) are hung up on a clothesline. Children are blindfolded and they pick a bag at random, which they get to cut down and keep to take home. 🙂



In Australia, grownups make a delicious treat called “fairy bread” for kids’ birthday parties! Fairy bread is white bread covered with butter and topped with rainbow sprinkles: the perfect sweet treat for a special day.



The piñata is a fun tradition you’re likely familiar with, as it’s become a popular birthday party game here in the United States. Piñatas today are typically made of cardboard, and come in all shapes and sizes. Another fun tradition is “la mordida”, where the birthday girl or boy’s face is shoved into the cake for their first bite, resulting in a face full of icing.


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