An In-depth History of Birthdays

The birthday is the most commonly celebrated anniversary of all time. Almost all cultures celebrate the birthday on a yearly basis.

You might be surprised with where and when the idea of celebrating birthdays came from. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of the birthday. If you want to know why we celebrate birthdays every single year, then read on!

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Why are Birthdays Celebrated?

The birthday was originally invented by the pagans. The pagans believed that we each have a spirit that observes us on a yearly basis. The purpose of a birthday was to celebrate that year and show the spirit that the individual was happy and led a good year.

Not only did the pagans think there was a spirit involved, but they also believed that the spirit was evil and wished to ruin the life of their target. The celebration was a means of dissuading the spirit and forcing it to leave the birthday boy/girl alone for another year.

The Greeks also believed that a spirit attached itself to each of us from birth. They thought the spirit was affiliated with God during their human’s birthday. As to why the spirit is there, it seems they thought of the spirit as a neutral spirit rather than a pure evil one. However, the spirit was still something to be feared.

What’s with the Candles?

According to the tradition, candles were a message to the spirits that followed us around. The candles connected them to God and allowed it to speak with him. The light from a candle bridged the gap between the darkness of our realm and God’s realm.

A candle could be used at any time for this purpose, according to the pagans. However, it was the Germans who first started using candles on cakes. They would place a new candle on it each year as well as some extras to signify that the child would live to be much older.

Where did the Birthday Song Come From?

The birthday song is the most commonly known song in the entire world. It was a song made for schoolkids when first produced.

The format was first conjured in the minds of two school teachers in 1893. However, the wording was different. The song started ‘Good morning to all’ rather than ‘Happy birthday to you.’

We’re not certain when and who changed the song, but it was used as early as 1933. The school teachers even managed to sue the concert who used the altered words, proving that the tune of their song was identical to the song we know today. (Meaning that the birthday song isn’t an original song)

There’s much more to the history of birthdays than one might expect. It’s been around for hundreds of years and ties into a great many cultures and religions. It’s fascinating to see how much has changed over the years to make the birthday the day it is now.

We now celebrate the birthday with the focus on the one who has reached another year of age. However, focusing on long-life is a worthy endeavour too!

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