“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear…….”
We sang this song for both my kids this week. I am sure you know this song too! But have you ever wondered about the origination of birthday parties and this ubiquitous ‘Happy Birthday’ song? Well, for me this week was all about planning birthday party for my kiddos, so amidst checking the RSVP list every day, I dug deeper into the reasons to celebrate birthdays.
Some of the reasons were evident as the sparkle in the eyes, and the excitement in the voice of my little ones. My son turned a year older on his birthday- ‘the day before he was four, and the day after he is five.’ Isn’t that magical? My other kid announced and invited his school friends for the party, on his own. That is a milestone to celebrate too. And above all, my kids birthdays are the special anniversary days when my hubby and I, both got promoted from being married to becoming parents.
Birthdays are the times to honor life and be grateful for the many blessings, And as social beings we humans are, it is natural to have loved ones over to celebrate this joyous day. But hold on to your horses, as I unravel some facts about this day.
Way back in time, people used to believe that spirits visit the person on their birthdays, and they are more likely to get harmed on this milestone. So all the loved ones would gather, wish well and make noises in order to ward off the evil spirits. This led to the start of birthday parties. And over a period of time as people got busy with hectic lifestyles and travel, it became difficult to attend these get-to-togethers. So started the concept of sending greetings for the birthday through mails and cards.
Now lets talk about cake and candles! Cakes are believed to be part of celebrations since Ancient Romans. After all it does make sense to celebrate with little bit of sweetness. Each of the candle on the cake represents a year of life lived, and there is one additional candle for the year to be (good luck candle). Some of the ancient cultures believe that smoke takes our prayers to Gods residing in heaven above us. So may have begun the tradition to make a wish before blowing the candles.
No birthday celebration is complete without the ‘Happy Birthday to you’ song. Until recently I was not aware that this popular song was copyrighted and that it originated from the tune ‘Good Morning To All’ once created by two sisters in 1893. Also, this is one of the most lucrative songs of the decade, which I found out through this post-
Facts are good to know, nonetheless birthdays are significant to honor your birth on this planet. So, don’t let this day pass as just another day, savor it and take joy in receiving calls and greetings from far and beyond, reading the messages on social media, and most importantly being grateful for the goodness and the warmth of family and friends.