The History of Modern Day Birthday Traditions

Have you ever thought about how birth celebrations began?

Birthday traditions started all the way back in Ancient Egypt! However, the Ancient Egyptians didn’t celebrate people’s birthdays. Instead, the birthday of the birth of their gods, which happened one year after the god was born was celebrated. This was the first recorded birthday celebration that happened yearly.

The Ancient Greeks ended up celebrating the births of gods as well, just like the ancient Egyptians. In fact, whenever they celebrated the birthday of Artemis who was the goddess of the Moon, they would place candles on the bread and light them which represented the Moon’s glow. This is how the candles became part of the birthday celebration tradition.

The first people who celebrated birthdays of regular people were the Ancient Romans with a feast, friends and family, and gifts. A cake made of cheese, honey and flour was always included in the celebrations.

Birthday traditions have evolved since! One major decoration used for birthday parties are balloons because they are colorful and fun. However, before balloons were used for birthday party decorations, they were used in scientific experiments.

In fact, the first rubber balloon was made by Michael Faraday 1824, which was for use in his laboratory. Faraday was laying two sheets of rubber one on another. After that he put flour in the middle to prevent them sticking together. He was able to seal them at the end.

Faraday filled the balloons with hydrogen and was happy to see that they were ascending to a considerable level. Nevertheless, the fact that the hydrogen kept escaping troubled him.

Then British inventor and rubber manufacturer, Thomas Hancock started selling balloon making kits in 1825. By 1847, British business owners have started to sell these balloons which were made of vulcanized rubber. This material which was tougher, and had better elasticity.

Since then, balloons were used for different traditions and had different uses. For example Americans in the early 1940’s started twisting balloons into animal shapes for kids. Once foil balloons were introduced in the 1970’s, recreational balloons became highly popular as their shapes were superior over rubber. Messages such as “Happy Birthday” could easily be conveyed on them.

Nowadays, balloons are part of the birthday itinerary, and are used for birthday parties worldwide. Kids absolutely love balloons, and they expect to have them for their parties. Otherwise, they will find birthday parties boring and lacking.

In fact, there are two main types of birthday balloons.

  • The first one is the typical elastic that is blown up by mouth, and they come in an assortment of colors. These types also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • The other type of balloons that are used are the foil balloons. They are the ones to get if you want to paint and write on them. Because they are coated with materials that are shiny, painting and writing on them is easy to do. You can also make wishes or designs on foil balloons.

Other factors that can make birthday parties fun is including party favors like confetti, other props, finger foods, drinks, and of course the birthday cake! The birthday cake is what completes the birthday celebration that was established by the Ancient Greeks, along with the candles that are blown out by the birthday star!

If you have ever wondered how birthday parties and traditions were established, it all points back to Ancient Egypt and it is quite fascinating how far the birthday celebrations have evolved!

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