As my baby’s first birthday nears I have been doing a little research online to prepare and found some interesting statistics on birthdays. So I decided to look up more facts and statistics on birthdays and turn it into a fun post since tomorrow is my baby’s first birthday. Happy first birthday sweet baby Anneliese!
Birthday History and Symbols
Historical Birthday Superstition: It is believed by many scholars that birthdays began in the pagan culture of Europe because of the fear that evil spirits are more attracted to a person on their birthday. Friends and family would visit with well-wishes to ward off the evil spirits.
Birthdays were usually only celebrated by nobility (which may be why we like to put a Birthday Crown on the birthday person) until the Germans began the practice of celebrating children’s birthdays called “kinderfeste” and bake a special sweet cake.
Birthday Cake- Another theory about the origin of birthday cake is that it came from the ancient Greeks. They would bake a round cake lit with candles to offer to Artemis, the Moon Goddess.
The candles helped to send prayers up to the gods, thus came about the custom of making a wish before blowing out your birthday candles. In Germany the candle on a birthday cake was symbolic for the light of life.
Happy Birthday Song- It began as the “Good Morning to You” song with the now familiar “Happy Birthday to You” tune, and was written by Mildred Hill and Dr. Patty Hill as a kindergarten school song. Patty Hill is credited with changing the lyrics to “Happy Birthday” after the song gained popularity (and yes, it is still copyrighted).
Fun Birthday Facts and Stats
August- most common birth month, over 21 million Americans have birthdays in August (and the least common is February).
October 5th- most common birth date ( 9 months after New Year’s Eve).
May 22nd is the least common birth date besides February 29th.
$27.2 Million- Most money spent on a birthday party. This extravagant party was for the Sultan of Brunei’s 50th Birthday in 1996.
2 Billion birthday cards are given each year in the U.S.- that is 58% of all cards given annually.
Golden Birthday- When your age and date of birth are the same. Example: My golden birthday was my 20th because I was born on June 20th.
Jesus Christ has the most popular, well-known birthday in history- Christmas Day!
Birthday Paradox- the probability that, in a group of 23 people, there is a 50/50 chance that two of them will have the same birthday. That probability goes up to 99%^ for a group of 57 people. (source: Wikipedia “Birthday Problem”)
15 Million- average number of people celebrating a birthday today (and every day) around the world.
128,238 lb. 8 oz.- weight of the world’s largest birthday cake. Made in Fort Payne, Alabama (not far from where I live) in 1989 to celebrate the city’s centennial birthday.
Birthday Jokes and Quotes
Q: What did one birthday candle say to another?
A: “Don’t birthdays burn you up?”
When I turned two I was really anxious, because I’d doubled my age in a year.
I thought, if this keeps up, by the time I’m six I’ll be ninety.
“I remember when the candle shop burned down. Everyone stood around singing ‘Happy Birthday’.”
Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.
-Reverend Larry Lorenzoni
P.S. If you want to read about birthday celebrations in other countries, KidsParties.com has a great list of information.