People didn't always bake a cake, blow out candles, and unwrap gifts each year to celebrate their next trip around the sun. In fact, for most of human history, these celebrations either didn't exist or were only for the elite in society. Read on to learn how birthday parties have changed over the years.
The Ancient Celebrations
Historically, birthday parties were reserved for only a select few in society. For instance, the many Pharaohs of Egypt received grand celebrations on their day of birth, although the exact reason for celebration was different than it is today. A Pharaoh's "birth" actually referred to the coronation date, as this signified their accession to god-status.
Modern birthday celebrations are associated with the Greeks, who threw parties to honor their many gods. In turn, these events also celebrated people born around that date. In a sense, their birthdates were connected through one deity. These spectacles of partying featured everything from parades to debauchery. Plus, the ancient Greeks loved blowing out candles to make a wish, something we do annually to this day.
Early American Birthdays
Even as birthday parties became more popular throughout the ages, they were still uncommon for middle-class individuals living in America during the late 1800s. Before this time, most birthday celebrations honored the most elite of society, such as presidents and war heroes. Everyone else treated their special day as, well, a typical day.
As family sizes shrunk throughout the turn of the century, parents from all socioeconomic backgrounds began throwing parties for their children. The increased financials of families everywhere allowed for yearly recognition of their loved ones. Traditions like making cakes (which originated in ancient Rome) and buying gifts became more common, and these customs spread into nearly every community.
Luckily, we live in a time when birthday parties are integral to society. And let's be honest, there's nothing better than a fantastic celebration honoring yourself or a loved one! Nowadays, birthdays can mean destination events, backyard grill-outs, renting lanes at a bowling alley, or simply a nice dinner out. And more people can throw over-the-top functions that make them feel special.
Our society celebrates birthdays differently for all ages, something different from ancient cultures. Children's events feature fun themes and engaging activities for the little ones. Some parents throw their kids a sweet-sixteen when they get closer to adulthood. Eighteenth birthdays typically feature a fine dining experience with family and friends. Your twenty-first is one of the biggest celebrations you'll ever attend. Even longtime cultural celebrations, like Bar Mitzvahs and Quinceaneras, are more lavish than ever before in human history.
After understanding how birthday parties have changed over the years, we're glad that birthday celebrations have become a staple in modern society. For many, these events are some of our most cherished memories. Luckily, Prime Party is among the best online party supply stores, offering everything you need to truly honor someone's trip around the sun.