September 25, 2015

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If you think the only way to celebrate your birthday is blowing candles and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ you may change your mind by reading this fantastic article written by the North American writer Will McGough and published at :

“The Western idea of celebrating a birthday with cake and candles has certainly caught on in other parts of the world, but many cultures have long-standing traditional ways to celebrate that don’t involve a sugar rush:

CANADA: Nose grease
On the Atlantic side of Canada, birthday boys and girls are sometimes “ambushed” and their noses are greased, usually with butter, to ward off bad luck. A friend who lives in Pictou told this writer that “The butter got worse as you got older.  It was good luck as much as torture as I remember it.” We would imagine so!

JAMAICA: Modern day Antiquing
Just like that one friend you had in college, Jamaicans think dousing their friends with flour is fun. Regardless of age, tradition calls for the birthday boy or girl to be “antiqued” or coated with flour, by friends and family, either at an organized party or as part of an ambush;

MEXICO: The birthday Piñata’
Mexicans sure know how to have a good time, and it’s no surprise that they have what is in my opinion the most fun tradition for children: The birthday ‘Piñata’ a filled with candy. Grab a blindfold and a broomstick, and let the celebration begin. I don’t know about you, but I certainly would trade my birthday cake for a piñata any day;

VIETNAM: Happy… New Year?
Everyone celebrates their birthday on New Year’s Day in Vietnam, a day they refer to as “Tet” . Vietnamese tradition is that the actual day of birth is not to be acknowledged. Rather, people become a year older every year at Tet

This article was extracted from the original ‘ Seven Birthday Traditions from Around the World  written by Will McGough and published at: on August 29, 2013. Access the page to read more about birthday tradition in countries such as Germany, China and Ireland

You may also watch a video about it at Enjoy and read the text published by Cengage on pg 106,107 book World English Intro. Expand your birthday culture



rubber-duck I love Birthday Traditions, Quack!


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