What Makes a Birthday a Special Birthday?
Following Birthday #1 the "special" birthdays are often the birthdays that end in "0" - the 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th and 90th.
The birthday that ends in a double 0 (100) is so special the Queen sends you a telegram. Of course if you can't wait for your letter from the Queen, you can always have one of Giddy Aunt's OBEs for being Over Bloody Eighty!
Significant birthdays such as the 18th or the 21st also have "official" importance as a coming of age, or are associated with legal rites of passage such as being able to vote, drink or drive. For other people the "coming of age" birthday may be the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th or 16th birthday. The Sixteenth birthday is usually accompanied by quips of "and never been kissed" - most annoying when you are Sweet Sixteen!
Your Golden Birthday, or Champagne Birthday, occurs when you turn the same age as the day in the month you were born on, for example, your Golden Birthday will be your 5th birthday if you were born on the 5th of the month, if you were born on the 20th of the month it would be your 20th birthday and so on.
Some people celebrate "reverse" birthdays, for example 61 becomes 16, 42 is 24 and so on. And then there are the people who revert to their first birthdays after the age of 39 so the following Birthdays become thirty-ten, thirty-eleven, thirty twelve etc.
According to the old poem, the day you were born on is also supposed to have special significance
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.
Lewis Carroll observed "There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents ... and only one for birthday presents, you know." And every one of them is special in one way or another. Let's celebrate!
12 December 2018
27 May 2020