birthday, celebration, holiday, Lore, Ritual, Uncategorized

Bon Aniversaire


Today I have been musing over the idea of birth… my best friend of 23 years has just had her first baby a precious little girl called Kira. A strog celtic name meaning, ” Dark Lady.” I for one am also a bit freaked out. I am turning 25, that’s a quarter of a century old, and I’m doing it in 4 days. So, what does it mean. I celebrate Kira’s birth, but why my own?

To start here are some international birthday rituals:

Birth Month Flowers

It is customary to associate each birth month with a specific bloom according to what best thrives at that particular time in the year.

January, Carnation
February, Violet
March, Daffodil
April, Daisy
May, Calla Lily
June, Rose
July, Larkspur
August, Gladiolus
September, Aster
October, Calendula
November, Chrysanthemum
December, Poinsettia

Also every birth month gets its own stone which each have a symbolic meaning of thier own, said to be imbued to the person born in that month.

Month Modern Birthstone Alternate Traditional Birthstone
January Garnet Rose Quartz Garnet
February Amethyst Onyx Amethyst
March Aquamarine Red Jasper Bloodstone
April Diamond Quartz Diamond
May Emerald Chrysoprase Emerald
June Pearl or Moonstone Alexandrite Alexandrite
July Ruby Jade Ruby
August Peridot Aventurine Sardonyx
September Sapphire Lapis lazuli Sapphire
October Opal Pink Tourmaline Tourmaline
November Yellow Topaz Citrine Citrine
December Turquoise Lapis Lazuli Zircon

Then there is the zodiac, there are many versions of this method however I will focus on the two that are most common:

Western

Sign Approximate dates of Sun signs Element Quality
Aries.svg Aries The Ram March 21 to April 20. Fire Cardinal
Taurus.svg Taurus The Bull April 21 to May 21. Earth Fixed
Gemini.svg Gemini The Twins May 22 to June 21. Air Mutable
Cancer.svg Cancer The Crab June 22 to July 22. Water Cardinal
Leo.svg Leo The Lion July 23 to August 22. Fire Fixed
Virgo.svg Virgo The Virgin August 23 to September 22. Earth Mutable
Libra.svg Libra The Scales September 23 to October 22. Air Cardinal
Scorpio.svg Scorpio The Scorpion October 23 to November 22. Water Fixed
Sagittarius.svg Sagittarius The Archer November 23 to December 21. Fire Mutable
Capricorn.svg Capricorn The Sea Goat December 22 to January 20. Earth Cardinal
Aquarius.svg Aquarius The Water Bearer January 21 to February 19. Air Fixed
Pisces.svg Pisces The Fish February 20 to March 20. Water Mutable

Me. I’m a leo. Raar. lol

Chinese

The Chinese zodiac is a mathematical cycle of 12 animals. Each animal represents one year. People are associated with the animal for the year that they are born. The 12 animals in order are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Zodiac animals can also represent hours of the day and directions. Although it is called the Chinese zodiac, this system is also used in several other countries in Asia such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

For example my Chinese zodiac is: Dragon.

Find out what yours’ is at www.chinesezodiac.com

Cakes

Greeks used to take cakes to the temple of the goddess of the moon, Artemis. Round cakes were used to represent the full moon and therein the completion of a cycle. Practical Greeks.

Germans made Geburtstagorten, a cake used for birthdays. Which I will post a seperate recipe for. (yay!)

Candles


Greeks put candles on the round cakes they brought to Artemis because it represented the glowing moon.

Germans were known for candle making, making small candles for their cakes.
Some Germans used one large candle in the center of the cake to represent the “light of life.” And smoke from fires would carry their wishes to heaven. (wishing as they blow out the candle)
Blowing out all candles at once to bring good luck (rather than to grant the wish to come true as many believe today.)

Cards
The tradition of sending birthday cards started in England about 100 years ago. Leave it to the English to make something like this, that much fun!

Luck
Good luck birthstone, flower, or colors are often given as gifts to give good luck on a birthday.

“Happy Birthday to you…”
The traditional song used to celebrate birthdays was written by two sisters in 1893 (Mildred and Patty Hill). Originally it was written as “Good morning to you…” but then changed to “Happy Birthday to you…” As a small child desperately not wanting to have to go to school, my mom used to sing the goodmorning version of this song to me.

Birthday Customs

Japan used to celebrate all Birthdays on Jan. 1, but today, most Japanese celebrate on their true birth dates.
In Korea the most important birthday is the first birthday. The child is dressed in special clothes and displayed in front of a large gathering of friends and family members. They feast and leave money for the 1 year old. The child’s future is told by the items he/she picks up.
In China and with India’s maharajahs, reaching 60 years gains respect for that person having made it the first cycle of life.
Germany is believed to be where many of our common birthday traditions started such as cakes, parties, and blowing out candles.
Mexicans have piñatas filled with candies and treats shaped as animals or stars, a tradition over 300 years old.
Many countries name children after saints. They celebrate their birthdays on that saint’s day. The main focus is on the saint on that day, the birthday celebration is secondary.

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