Birthdays Around the World!

Birthdays Around the World!

In honor of two our our editor’s birthdays occurring this month, we present you a post about how birthdays are celebrated in different countries! Have you celebrated your own or a friend’s birthday in one of these countries? Let us know if you practiced any of these birthday traditions in the comments and share your experience on Facebook!

Quinceañera - (Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Spain)

Quinceanera, literally meaning ‘15 year old’ is a celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. While it’s celebrated throughout the Americas and some choose to have larger religious undertones than others, it’s universally celebrated as a symbol of young womanhood. One of the traditions associated with this celebration is the ‘last doll’, representing the last thing of childhood! Have you celebrated Quinceanera? Where? Let us know how you celebrated your Quinceanera!

Acceptable Gifts: Anything with a religious theme or signifies coming of age and femininity. Birthstones, tiaras, crosses, medals, are all common gifts at Quinceaneras. Generally, normal gifts you would give a teenager would be ok!


In Greece, birthdays are usually only celebrated for the first decade before they start celebrating ‘Name-Day’. However, the children would usually invite a large amount of friends and played while the adults chatted. Celebrating Name-day is sort of like a substitute for birthdays. When someone’s name day occurs, they will invite close friends or have an open house with lots of treats or invite people out to a meal. When invited to a name day, it’s polite to bring a small gift such as wine, flowers, or a card!


Romanians love their celebrations! Birthdays are celebrated somewhat like American birthdays, with dancing, food and drinking! It’s not uncommon to hold it in someone’s home or to even rent a restaurant for the event. Some parties may have traditional food, including Sarmale and mamagila. Juice, mineral water, champagne, red/white wine and vodka are usual drinks at a Romanian birthday!


While some sources say that 18th birthdays in Italy are enormous celebrations, other sources account that Italian celebrations are often small but comfortable. While it’s the tradition in America for the birthday person to be treated on their birthday, it’s expected for the host to pay for the party and all its workings, especially if they go out. Even the birthday cake, for example, is provided by the person celebrating. However, gifts are definitely expected of the attendees! Gifts are expected to be wrapped extremely well, and at the party are opened in front of others! Saving the presents to open alone later is considered quite rude, as one would expect.


Birthdays in Taiwan are quite similar to birthdays in America, except that it’s more common to simply go to a restaurant than hold one at someone’s house. Some even rent out a karaoke room and celebrate there. You can expect there to be a cake and sing the western-style Happy Birthday nontheless!

Tai McLaughlin

It's not a tattoo.