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Birthdays--Some History Behind These Celebrations of Life

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

My birthday is coming up in a week. Do I want to celebrate it? Yes I do, because I am special in my own way. I am the only one like me in the whole entire universe. A long time ago I was told there are seven look-alikes for every human on the planet somewhere. If that is true let it be. My uniqueness lies in my intelligence and my life. And this is the only life I've got. Some people believe in reincarnation but as far as I know this is it for me. Every minute counts as it passes by. Every second is special. Every day has its own life. This is what I feel, especially after all the health problems I have been through. I got second and third chances in life. I better be celebrating it the best way I can.

Birthday celebrations in history date back to the time of pagans before Christianity was born. (Tokenz.com) They were celebrated to ward off evil spirits from a person's life. Back in the days when calenders were not known time was calculated with changes in lunar and solar cycles. A person's birthday was counted with these changes. Famous birthdays from ancient times include Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago, the birthday of King Pharoah 4,000 years ago and King Herod's birthday. (Tokenz.com) Only the kings and noblemen were able to celebrate birthdays because of economic conditions. The kings, ladies and lords were invited to the parties for feasting. Birthday celebrations for children started first with the Germans and they were called Kinder Feste (Kinder=children, Feste=festival).

Birthday cakes came into use by the Greeks who offered them to the moon and Gods as a part of the celebrations. Germans also used birthday cakes during Christmas celebrations. They baked cakes in the shape of Baby Jesus. Candles were lit by the Greeks in order to pray by showing them to the sky, for they believed Gods resided in the skies. Germans lit one big candle in the middle of a cake to celebrate life. Blowing out the candle in one single breath was believed to bring good luck. (deepestfeelings.com) Gifts were a tradition that started as the sign of good luck in the beginning, as did the flowers.

Today, birthdays are celebrated all over the world regardless of the differences in traditions, cultures, religions, race or economic conditions. People throw parties for themselves, loved ones, friends and families. There are many ways a person could celebrate his or her birthday. While some seek solitude to reminisce on past events most like to spend their time with loved ones. Children's birthdays are mostly celebrated in party zones with other children from their schools or families. Dozens of different kinds and flavors of cakes are made at any grocery store, bakery or specialty stores. Candles are made in different ways depending on the age of the person. Greeting cards are a way of expressing joy from loved ones. Today many milestone birthdays are marked and celebrated differently according to the stage in life the person is in. Sixteenth birthdays and twenty-first birthdays birthday for girls and boys mark initiation into driving age, and then adulthood. Thirtieth birthdays are celebrated for our success in our career and life while fortieth birthdays are done to mark the beginning of middle age. Fiftieth birthdays are enjoyed as some people become free of family responsibilities while sixtieth birthdays are done to celebrate retirement age. Seventieth and eightieth birthdays are given by children and grandchildren for a person's long and successful life. I have seen hundredth year celebrations in my family most recently to mark a century full of life.

Some people feel happy to be celebrating their lives while others feel sad for marking yet another year. Some people look forward to another year while others fear the passing of another year from their lives. Young people look forward to their birthdays to mark their growth while older groups want to stop time from going forward. Many women enjoy their lives after menopause while some men begin their midlife crisis after their forties. People like me celebrate their lives just for being alive yet another year. To me birthdays are the significant events of my life. Everyday is a new day, every minute is a new experience, every second is full.....so celebrate we should because,OUR LIFE MATTERS.

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