07 July 2021 | by Captain Joe


Do you love quirky trivia? If yes, we’ve got an interesting tidbit for you. Did you know that there was a lawsuit claiming copyrights for the “Happy Birthday” song in 1935? But the judge presiding the case struck down the lawsuit, meaning the “Happy Birthday” song can be sung anywhere by anyone. Isn't that wonderful?

Around the world millions and millions of people sing the iconic “Happy Birthday” song to celebrate their loved ones. In fact, the happy birthday song is one of the most translated songs anywhere in the world.

Thanks to this evergreen song, birthday parties around the world have a similar format: Everyone gathers around the birthday cake, singing Happy Birthday to the birthday girl or boy, while the birthday boy/girl blows the candle and cuts the cake.

While this part of the birthday party remains more or less the same, different traditions and cultures have added other fun and religious additions to the ceremony. In this post, we walk you through some of the top birthday party traditions that are unique to India.

1- Starting the Day with the Blessings of Parents, Grandparents and other Adults

In India, it’s common for the birthday boy/girl to start the day by touching the feet of parents, grandparents and other adults in the house. The elders wish the younger ones bowing at their feet and bless them with good health, wealth and prosperity.

2- Receiving the Birthday Clothes from the Adults

As the little boy or girl bends down and touches the feet of parents and grandparents, the well-wishers gift the little one his/her special clothes for the day. In some households, it’s a common practice to dab a dash of turmeric on the inside collar of the new clothes and place it in the puja room the night before the birthday. Once the little one receives the blessings of the adults, the new clothes blessed by the diving God are presented to the birthday boy/girl.

3- The Mandatory Temple Visit

It’s a common practice in several parts of India to visit a temple on auspicious days like Diwali, New Year and birthdays. In most families, the little one is taken for an early morning temple visit wearing new clothes. Special ceremonies are conducted specifying the nakshatra of the birthday boy or girl, praying for health and fortune in the coming year.

Now, let’s get to the actual party.

4- Not blowing all the Candles

It's considered inauspicious to blow all the candles. So, it’s a common tradition for an elder member in the family to hold one candle separately, while the birthday boy or girl blows the rest. This candle is allowed to burn completely, without being extinguished. However, many families don’t practice this ritual and allow their little ones to huff and puff with all their might.

5- The Birthday Aarathi

Indians love to do aarathis. Be it welcoming a newly married couple or celebrating a child’s success in an examination, aarathis are part of our rituals. The birthday party is no different. The birthday child is blessed with an aarathi of turmeric, vermilion and a rice ball. This tradition is believed to ward off evil eyes and is usually done by the eldest female member of the household.

6- Feeding Cake to All

If it’s your birthday party, then make sure to have a huge appetite before the cake cutting ceremony. As soon as you cut the cake, it’s a common practice to feed a piece of cake with your own hands to all the guests at the party. In return, each guest feeds you with their own hands a small piece of the cake. By the time you finish, you’re sure to be stuffed with loads of cake.

7- Birthday Parties are more of an Extended Family Get-together

It doesn’t matter whether you’re 1, 11 or 21, if you’re having a birthday party at home, then you can be sure that the entire family will be present. Birthday parties are a time to socialise, gossip and have fun. Your aunts, uncles, first cousins, second cousins, both sets of grandparents, a couple of neighbours and of course your friends – everyone's invited.

8- Special Dishes just for the Birthday Boy/Girl

Everyone loves to feel pampered on their birthday. Indian parents have perfected the art of pampering the birthday boy or girl, by preparing their favourite dishes for every meal in the day. The birthday menu for kid Indian is sure to include special dishes like kesari, mithai, biryani and plenty of sweets.

9- Wearing New Clothes to School and Distributing Candies

This was something that all kids looked forward to – sans the unlucky souls whose birthdays fell on a school holiday. In India, it’s a common practice for schoolkids to wear uniforms to school. Only on special occasions are children allowed to wear “colour dress” aka regular clothes. Apart from celebrations like Diwali, Children’s Day, and Christmas, kids can wear regular clothes on their birthdays.

So, every school going kid looked forward to this day. Besides wearing new clothes, the birthday boy or girl was allowed to distribute candies to teachers and the other kids. Each kid can pick a birthday assistant to assist him/her to go around school distributing candies. This was a special ritual and getting picked to assist the birthday boy or girl made you feel like you won a gold medal at the Olympics.

Finally, if you’re looking for a kids' birthday party menu on a budget in Gurgaon, look no further. As one of the top food companies in Gurgaon, Captain Joe offers scrumptious birthday party catering perfectly suiting your budget. Give us a ring and let’s get the party started.

So, which of these traditions do you practice at your home? Do you have any other special birthday traditions? Share with us in the comments below.

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