Q:

Why do humans celebrate birthdays?

A:

Quick Answer

People celebrate birthdays to honor their birth and the beginning of a new year in their lives. The custom of celebrating birthdays began in ancient times but was not widespread until the turn of the 19th century. At that time, the perception of children was becoming more positive, and it became customary to celebrate with parties and customs like spankings for good luck or blowing out candles on a cake.

Continue Reading
Why do humans celebrate birthdays?
Credit: Tetra Images - Jessica Peterson Brand X Pictures Getty Images

Full Answer

The Romans are considered to be the first people to have celebrated birthdays, but they only celebrated men's birthdays. There are no records of women's birthday celebrations until more than a millennium later. Friends and family members celebrated their birthdays privately, and the Roman government declared several holidays in honor of the birthdays of famous figures.

Because of its link to Roman's pagan culture, early Christians were opposed to birthday celebrations, and they did not even celebrate the birthday of Jesus until the fourth century. At that point, they put his birthday on the calendar near the date of the winter solstice.

The tradition of putting candles on cakes originated in Roman times, as the Romans made cakes with candles to honor their moon god. However, the tradition of having a cake at a birthday party did not become popular until Germans began doing it in the late 18th century.

Learn more about Cultures & Traditions

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is Diwali celebrated?

    A:

    The Hindu Diwali celebration marks the beginning of the Hindu new year. Known internationally as the Festival of Lights, people observe the celebration by adorning their homes and workplaces with candles, lamps and small electric lights.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the month of January known for?

    A:

    January is primarily known as the beginning of the new year, with New Year's Day falling on Jan. 1. It also contains a few other noted holidays and events.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you enroll in CareFirst medical insurance?

    A:

    Applicants can enroll in CareFirst during the open-enrollment period, which typically runs from late fall through the beginning of the new year. Applicants who experience qualifying life events, such as marriage, the birth of a baby or loss of current coverage, may be eligible to enroll in a health care plan outside of the open-enrollment period, states CareFirst. At any time of year, people can request information through the company's website or by phone.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the Swiss traditional clothes?

    A:

    What we recognize today as traditional Swiss clothing is based on the garments worn by peasants and common people at the beginning of the 19th century. According to the Encyclopedia of National Dress, the Swiss designed their clothing to function in a practical way and to communicate certain information about the wearer, such as age, social class and marital status.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore