Birthday Traditions Around the World

By Hart  |  Posted: May 30, 2018

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    All around the world, each culture has a unique way of celebrating children’s birthdays.

    Every family has a special way of celebrating their kids’ birthday parties. Have you ever wondered though how families from different countries celebrate birthdays?

    Put on your travel caps and bring your virtual almanacs. We’re flying around the world to learn some of the unique ways kids celebrate their name day!




    In the Land of the Rising Sun, kids celebrate the Shichi-Go-San festival, which means seven-five-three. Girls celebrating their 3rd or 7th birthday and boys celebrating their 5th go to a Shinto shrine on November 15. They wear their best kimono and offer thanks to God for their good health. This festival was created because children would die before their 3rd, 5th and 7th birthdays.

    A family feast is then held in the name of the celebrant. Children celebrating their birthdays can also buy special bags of candy with the words “sweets for 1,000 years of life” inscribed.





    Children in Mexico get two birthday celebrations. First, they celebrate the feast day of the saint they were named after by going to mass. After receiving the priest’s blessing, the children can go home and celebrate with close relatives and family friends. 

    The saint’s day party is usually the more quiet and formal of the two. The second birthday party involves more friends, more fun and the pinata! The celebrant takes first crack at smashing the animal-shaped paper bag to get all the candies, toys and coins.




    A family member wakes up before everyone else to light the candles on the celebrant’s cake. The number of candles on the cake depends on the kid’s age, with an additional candle for good luck.

    The birthday celebrant will only get get to blow out his candles after everyone has eaten dinner and have sung the birthday song. If the kid blows out all the candles in one try, his wish will come true!




    A child celebrating their birthday in India gets to wear new clothes. They rise at daybreak and dress up in the new clothes before going to the shrine. They would also kneel and touch the feet of their parents as a sign of respect. 

    The traditional birthday meal for kids include curry (the really spicy variety!) and chutney, which is a spicy fruit relish. They get dudh pakh for dessert, a rice-based pudding. It’s considered bad luck to give gifts wrapped in black and white wrapping!



    The Masai tribe have three rites of passage for boys turning 14 to 16 years old. As a sign of their entry into manhood, one of the rituals they have to do is the ‘Jumping Dance’. Here is an example of what happens during the ritual:





    Birthday parties in Canada are not that different from most celebrations. Parents would bake birthday cakes decorated with colored sprinkles and a wrapped coin hidden inside. Whoever finds the coin first gets the first turn in all the party games!

    Each kid at the birthday party also gets a cracker. These crepe paper tubes pop when you pull the string, revealing inside a small prize, a hat or a piece of paper with your fortune on it!


    We hope you had fun learning about the birthday traditions found throughout the world! Would you like to have a special kind of birthday party for your child? We’ve prepared a special DIY birthday parties guide just for the occasion! You can also read and learn more about the best birthday party ideas through the Fun Kids Guide blog.

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