Kismet girls love to party in tents, weddings, birthdays and corporate events.




There are times which call for a special celebration to mark the passing of a milestone, such as a birthday.  A birthday is the date on which a person is born, marking the day we pass into the outside world from our Mother's protection. It is customary in many cultures to celebrate the anniversary of one's birthday, with a meal of by having a birthday party with family and/or friends. Gifts are often given to the person celebrating their birthday. It is also customary to treat people specially on their birthday, either generally acceding to their wishes, or subjecting them to a ritual. So why not enjoy your special day in a completely different environment, such as an exotic tent from Arabian Tents?



Birthday 1st cake with one candle


1st Birthday cake and candle - "I made it"



Western private birthday traditions


History of celebration of birthdays in the West


It is thought that the large-scale celebration of birthdays in Europe began with the cult of Mithras, which originated in Persia but was spread by soldiers throughout the Roman Empire. Before this, such celebrations were not common; and, hence, practices from other contexts such as the Saturnalia were adapted for birthdays. Because many Roman soldiers took to Mithraism, it had a wide distribution and influence throughout the empire until it was supplanted by Christianity.


Birthday celebrations were rare during the Middle Ages but saw a resurgence with the advent of the Reformation. During this period, they were seen as a good way to transfer customs from the saint's days to other dates not linked to the newly repudiated veneration of saints.


Even today, the celebration of birthdays is not universal in the West; in addition to those people preferring name day celebrations, Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate either, considering them to be pagan festivals along with Christmas and Easter. Many adults loathe celebrating it as it reminds them that they are getting progressively older. And in some activities that are not year-round, birthday acknowledgements may be discouraged because of some birthdays not falling during the season.


In most English-speaking countries it is traditional to sing the song Happy Birthday to You to the honored person celebrating his birthday. The Happy Birthday Song melody is thought to be the most frequently sung melody in the world. Similar songs exist in other languages such as "Lang zal hij/zij leven" (and several others) in Dutch, "Zum Geburtstag Viel Glück" in German, "Cumpleaños feliz" in Spanish, "Sto lat" in Polish and "Tanti Auguri a te" in Italian. This happens traditionally at a birthday party while someone brings a birthday cake into the (often darkened) room.



Birthday cake happy 21st Louise


21st Birthday party cake - freedom to choose


  • The birthday cake is traditionally highly decorated, and typically covered with lit candles when presented; the number of candles often equals the age of the person. The person whose birthday it is makes a silent wish and then blows out the candles; if done in one breath, the wish is supposed to come true, but only if the person keeps the wish to himself (or herself). It is also common for the "birthday boy" or "birthday girl" to cut the initial piece of the cake as a newlywed couple might with a wedding cake. Birthday cakes have been a tradition dating back as far as the Middle Ages when the English would conceal symbolic items such as gold coins, rings and thimbles inside their cakes. Each item was associated with a prediction. For example, a person finding a gold coin in a birthday cake would supposedly become wealthy where a person discovering a thimble would never marry.


Typical birthday party decorations include balloons, streamers, and confetti.


For special birthdays and for when the number of candles might be considered impractical or a fire hazard, special candles might be substituted for the many individual candles. These candles are in the shape of a numeral; for example, on the fifth birthday there may be one candle on the cake in the shape of the numeral 5, and on the fiftieth birthday there may be two candles on the cake, one in the shape of the numeral 5 followed by the other in the shape of the numeral 0.


  • A birthday is considered a special day for the person, and so the person will often get special treatment from friends and family. This is especially true for children who cannot wait for their own special day. In addition to parties, people often get gifts on their birthday.

  • Birthday parties for children often include fun games which are relevant to the local culture.

  • There are also traditions of surprise parties.

  • Not all traditions are equally generous. In certain circles the birthday boy or girl is expected to treat their party guests, this varies depending on the local culture and may involve party gifts or a nice gesture. In some cultures the birthday that means reaching the legal age limit for drinking alcohol may be celebrated with a party with free or abundant alcoholic drinks.

  • Another tradition enjoyed by girls in America that was popularized in the 1950s and 60s: receiving a special corsage (or several) that was decorated with candy or another inexpensive item that corresponded to age. The items were priced within reach of the peer group, and all were light enough so they could fasten easily to curly ribbons and be worn throughout the school day without problem.

10th birthday - lollipops

11th birthday - gum drops

12th birthday - tootsie rolls

13th birthday - bubble gum

14th birthday - dog biscuits

15th birthday - life savers

16th birthday - sugar monkeys

17th birthday - lemon drops

18th birthday - fake key of a car




Since every year of age can be seen as a minor transition, this can be accompanied by some traditional initiation rite such as a birthday spanking, after which the honoree may in some traditions receive a "pinch to grow an inch." It is also traditional in schools in some areas of Britain to 'bump' people on their birthday. This involves them being hoisted face up by arms and legs and allowed to fall; pulling on the limbs restrains the fall so that the victim does not quite hit the ground. This is repeated for the number of the times when equaled to their birthday age. On one last hoist the celebrant is often allowed to fall to the ground on their backs. A less painful way is to be lifted in the air while sitting on a chair. Then the last lift is usually made higher than the others.


A similar tradition in schools are 'birthday beats' or 'birthday bashings' in which the birthday child receives a number of punches on their arm that equals their age (e.g. 14 punches on the arm for a 14-year-old). Usually it is followed with a 'one for luck' punch which tends to be harder than the rest. Birthday beats are not often malicious but sometimes can be considered bullying and may ruin a child's special day. All hits can be given either on the day of the birthday, or the day following the birthday (in which case it would be called "belated birthday beats").



Birthday cake happy 40th over the hill


40th Birthday party cake - in mid swing



Special birthdays


Notable birthdays can include:

  • When the most significant digit changes, for example one's 1st, 10th, 30th, 50th, or 100th birthdays, as well as significant years such as the 18th (US legal adult age), and 21st (US alcoholic beverage drinking age).

  • One's golden birthday, also called a champagne birthday, is the day when the age someone turns is the same as the day in the month he was born. (e.g. someone turning 20 on January 20th celebrates his golden birthday).

  • In most legal systems, one becomes a legal adult on a particular birthday, and at different ages gain different rights and responsibilities — voting, certain drug use (e.g. alcohol, purchasing tobacco), eligibility for military draft or voluntary enlistment, driving, purchasing lottery tickets, etc.

  • Most cultures have one or more coming of age birthdays:

    • Jewish boys have a bar mitzvah on or around their 13th birthday. Jewish girls observe a bat mitzvah on or around their 12th birthday, or sometimes on or around their 13th birthday in Reform and Conservative Judaism.

    • In some Christian traditions, generally Catholic and Anglican, Confirmation is the ritual by which a young person becomes an official member of the Church. This sometimes includes the bestowal of a 'Confirmation name,' generally the name of a saint, which is often worn as a second middle name. Confirmation also bestows the Holy Spirit upon the confirmand, and in some churches is received concurrent with baptism or first communion.

    • In Latin America the quinceañera celebration traditionally marks a girl's 15th birthday.

    • Some girls in the United States have "sweet sixteen" birthday parties.

  • The birthdays of historically significant people, like Jesus Christ, the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, or the national heroes or founders, are often commemorated by an official holiday. Some saints are remembered by a liturgical feast (sometimes on a presumed birthday). By analogy, the Latin term Dies natalis 'birthday' is applied to the anniversary of an institution (such as a university).

In many Asian countries the 14th birthday is celebrated as the day one becomes a man, or a woman, in society.



Official/Alternative birthdays and name day


Some notables, particularly Monarchs, have on a fixed day of the year an official birthday which do not match their actual birthday, but on which celebrations are held. Examples are:

  • King's or Queen's Official Birthday in Australia, Canada, Fiji, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

  • Commonwealth Day, originally called Empire's Day, is on the Queen-Empress Victoria's birthday: May 24

  • Jesus of Nazareth's official birthday is celebrated as Christmas Day around the world: 25 December or 7 January in Julian calendar interpretations.

  • The Grand Duke's Official Birthday in Luxembourg: 23 June

  • King's official birthday in Belgium: November 15 (on saint Leopold, liturgical feast of the dynasty's founder's patron saint)

  • in Malaysia, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (federal King, elected for 5 years) on 3 June

  • Koningsdag or Koninginnedag in the Kingdom of the Netherlands is fixed on 30 April (Queen's Day; celebration of the reigning Queen's accession). It was fixed by queen Beatrix at the birthday of former queen Juliana, to avoid the winter weather associated with her own birthday in January.


While it is uncommon to have an official holiday for a republican head of state's birthday, this can become a permanent posthumous honour, especially in the case of a so-called father of the fatherland, e.g. George Washington (best known as Presidents' Day, which sounds like the incumbent's party; also celebrated in the US is Lincoln's Birthday)


In cases where a mythical figure's actual birthday is unknown, it is common for a particular date to be substituted.


People who are born on the leap day 29 February, which only occurs during leap years, often celebrate their birthday in other years on the 28th (the last day of February), or 1 March (the first day they have, measured in whole years, a new age).


In some Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries such as France, Hungary, or Greece, it is common also to have a 'name day'/'Saint's day'. This is celebrated in much the same way as a birthday, but is held on the official day of a saint with the same Christian name as the birthday boy/girl; the difference being that one may look up a person's nameday in a calendar, or easily remember common namedays (e.g. John or Mary); however in pious traditions, the two were often made to concur by giving a newborn the name of a saint celebrated on its birthday, or even the name of a feast, e.g. Noel or Pascal (French for Christmas and "of Easter"). In some countries, name days are celebrated with much more elaborate festivities than birthdays; in the past, birthdays often weren't celebrated at all in those countries.


In school, a half-birthday or other unbirthday is sometimes celebrated for those whose birthdays do not fall on a school day (especially for birthdays falling during holiday and vacation periods).


All racehorses traditionally celebrate their birthday on (i.e. calculate their age in years from) 1 August in the Southern Hemisphere, and on 1 January in the Northern Hemisphere.



Birthday cake happy 50th


50th Birthday party cake - steady



Birthday gift symbolism




A birthstone is a gift of a precious material (jewelry, mainly gemstones; themselves traditionally associated with various qualities) that symbolizes the month of birth (in the Gregorian Calendar).


It is sometimes also called birthday stone (cf. infra; but that word is, confusingly, sometimes used as a synonym for an anniversary gift, which is related to the recipient's age, i.e. year of birth).


There have been many different sets of birthstones used throughout history and in different cultures. In 1912, in an effort to standardize them, the American national association of jewelers, Jewelers of America, officially adopted the following list; it is currently the most widely used list in the United States and many other locations, including Australia and Thailand. Some alternates have been adopted to be a less expensive substitute for a cut stone.








Rose Quartz






Red Jasper ('Bloodstone')



Rock Crystal (Quartz)





Pearl (the only non-mineral)

Alexandrite or Moonstone



Jade or Carnelion



Aventurine, Sardonyx, or Sapphire



Lapis lazuli



Pink Tourmaline


Yellow Topaz

Citrine or Turquoise


Blue Zircon

Blue Topaz, Turquoise, or Tanzanite



Tanzanite was added to December by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002.


The birthstone seems to originate from Biblical times. The Breastplate of Aaron, referred to in Exodus 39:10-14:-

10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz and a beryl;


11 in the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and an emerald;


12 in the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst;


13 in the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx and a jasper. They were mounted in gold filigree settings.


14 There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.


The precise list of birthstones however can be found in Revelation 21:19-20 where the foundation stones of the new Jerusalem are listed, in the order of the Roman calendar:

19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;


20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.


Zodiac stones


An astrological version of the birthstones exists using the twelve zodiac signs instead of the twelve calendar months. Listed below are the dates for the tropical sun signs and their associated birthstone.





Aries (March 21 - April 19)


Taurus (April 20 - May 20)


Gemini (May 21 - June 20)


Cancer (June 21 - July 22)


Leo (July 23 - August 22)


Virgo (August 23 - September 22)


Libra (September 23 - October 23)


Scorpio (October 24 - November 21)


Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)


Capricorn (December 22 - January 21)


Aquarius (January 22 - February 18)

Amethyst and moonstone

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)




Birth flowers










Daffodil, Jonquil


Dahlia, Sweet Pea


Sunflower, Lily of the Valley


Honeysuckle, Rose




Lily, Gladiolus


Forget-me-not, Aster


Calendula (Marigold), Rose, Camellia




Holly, Narcissus



Just as there are alternatives with birthstones, there are also alternatives with birth flowers. For example, October is often listed as Calendula (Marigold) , but is also occasional noted as being rose or camellia.



Technical issues


A person's birthday is usually recorded according to the time zone of the place of birth. Thus people born in Samoa at 11:30pm will record their birthdate as one day before UTC and those born in the Line Islands will record their birthdate one day after UTC. They will apparently be born two days apart, while some of the apparently older ones may be younger in hours. Those who live in different time zones from their birth often exclusively celebrate their birthdays at the local time zone.



Birthday stones


While this word has also been used as synonym of Birth stone (see above), there is a separate list of assignment according to the day of the week of the recipient's birth:

  • Monday : Pearl (the only non-gem)

  • Tuesday : Garnet

  • Wednesday : Cat's eye (Chatoyant Chrysoberyl)

  • Thursday : Emerald

  • Friday : Topaz

  • Saturday : Sapphire

  • Sunday : Ruby











Thank You notes

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Arabian Tents flower motif