A birthday is an important day for everyone!
People celebrate their birthdays by doing good deeds such as donation, treating friends, visiting pagoda and pay respect to parents.
Traditional birthday celebration includes a birthday cake decorated with small candles, the beloved guests singing birthday song and the birthday person will blow out the candles on the cake. The cake is later shared among the guests attending the party for joy and togetherness.
Birthday cake and song does not come from Myanmar traditional culture. It is spread from Western culture. As time goes by, birthday cake and song have been inseparable parts of birthday celebrations over centuries till now.
Have you even wondered when and how the tradition of celebrating our birthdays with birthday cakes and songs?
Actually, birthday cakes come from the Roman culture. During ancient Roman times, family members and relatives celebrated one’s birthday by baking cake to bring good wishes. After some times, this tradition has been carried out generation by generation.
Some believe that the candles can protect the birthday person from evil spirits and bad luck. Others believe that people used candles to honor the goddess of the moon, Artemis. The smoke from the candles carried their prayers into the sky and wishes to the Gods who live in heaven.
Then, the traditional birthday song everyone can sing:
“Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear …
Happy birthday to you”
Who first sang this song? How did the tradition of singing the song “Happy Birthday to You” at every birthday party begin?
According to Guinness Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song. And it has been translated over 30 languages. It has been said that the melody of this song is not intended for birthday party originally. It comes from the song “Good Morning to All” composed by two sisters named Mildred and Patty. Their purpose is for the kids to greet each other at school with this song. Later, an anonymous song writer wrote the lyrics of “Happy Birthday to You”. And it has been sung traditionally at our birthday parties.
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