Weird Birthday Traditions from around the World

There’s no doubt that a birthday hamper is a foolproof gift for just about everyone, however, while the Western idea of celebrating a birthday is with a cake and a few candles, this idea hasn’t quite caught on in other parts of the world.

In fact, other cultures have many long-standing traditions that simply don’t involve a sugar rush.

So, we’re going to take a trip around the world and find the weirdest birthday traditions that you just won’t believe.

1. The flour-covered Caribbean

In many regions of the Caribbean, most commonly Jamaica, an individual of any age can expect to have their birthday celebrated by having huge amounts of flour thrown at them by friends and family.

What’s worse is that the really unlucky ones will be covered in water first, making it extremely difficult to remove the flour!

2. Being pulled in Hungary

Just as the Brits celebrate a birthday with the Birthday Bumps, the Hungarians will wish an individual good luck and a happy birthday by pulling on their earlobes.

This tradition will normally take place just before the opening of any birthday presents, while a song is sung that translates to “God bless you live so long so your ears reach your ankles”.

3. Singletons in Germany

There is a longstanding tradition in Germany whereby single men turning 30 are required to go out and sweep the steps of the local church or town hall. This is supposed to give them the chance to show off how good they are at cleaning, and let’s face it, what woman could resist?

For young children in Germany, they are officially exempt from doing their homework and chores for the day.

4. A greasy nose in Canada

A very famous tradition in Canada is the practice of nose-greasing. This is where a young boy or girl is pinned to the floor while their nose gets smeared with butter.

The reason for this is to ensure the individual is far too slippery for bad luck or negativity to get a hold of them in the next year.

5. Caked in Venezuela

For those celebrating a birthday in Venezuela, it’s probably best not to bother with makeup as you’re most likely to have your head pushed into the birthday cake!

Believe it or not, this gesture is one of laughter, luck for the year ahead and love.

Needless to say, there is a skill involved in ensuring the candles have been blown out properly.

6. Clowns in Switzerland

Perhaps one of the strangest traditions, parents in Switzerland will hire an evil clown for their child’s birthday. The clown won’t only look terrifying but will also follow and torment the birthday girl or boy before putting a pie in their face for good luck!

7. Cakeman in Denmark

Rather than a standard birthday cake, Danish children will enjoy a “cakeman” which really does resemble the patient from the “Operation” game, only with icing.

Once the songs are sung and the candles have been blown out, the cakeman is decapitated and the head is presented to the birthday boy or girl. The family and friends then dig into the body.

8. Toast in New Zealand

Those from New Zealand will enjoy a unique treat on their birthday, involving ice cream and sprinkles on toast. Yes, on toast.

9. Career choices in China

When a child is born in China they are considered a year old, meaning their first birthday is actually their second birthday. On this day the child will be placed on the floor surrounded by objects, the first object the child picks up is thought to determine what they will be when they grow up.

Meanwhile, during other birthday celebrations, a cake is skipped entirely and instead the child will be given a bowl full of noodles which they must put into their mouth until they can’t fit any more in.

10. Flowers in Egypt

Egyptian birthday parties are full of dancing and singing traditional songs. The room will also be full of flowers and fruit to symbolize growth and life.

11. Prizes in Russia

Instead of a birthday cake, Russian children will enjoy a birthday pie with a greeting carved into the crust. They will then play a game that features the use of a clothesline and hang prizes from it so each guest can take a present home.

12. Crowns in Israel

Young children in Israel will be given a crown to wear that remade from leaves and flowers on their birthday. They will then be asked to sit in a special chair that’s been decorated for them while their family and friends dance around it.

13. Shaving head in India

On the child’s first birthday, his or her head is shaved while the baby is held over a special fire, this is to symbolize cleansing of evil and renewal of the soul.

Now that you know some of the weirdest birthday traditions in the world, what will you be doing for your friends or relatives’?

If you ask us, it would be safe to opt for a birthday hamper to be on the safe side!

Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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