While we typically celebrate birthdays today with cake,
treats, family and fun, the history of birthday parties was
not always such a jovial occasion. Such is seen in Europe’s
history thousands of years ago.
Originally, a person feared their upcoming birthday. It was
seen as a fearful experience because people believed bad
spirits could harm you on this day.
Birthday parties were devised as a way to keep those
spirits away by surrounding yourself with friends and loved
ones who often brought small tokens and food to share.
People would use noisemakers to scare off any evil spirits
that may be lurking around the house.
It was in the middle ages that birthday parties began to
take on a more celebratory state and the tone turned more
positive. But they were not yet commonplace amongst
peasants. In fact, most birthday parties were only
celebrated by royalty or the very wealthy.
It wasn’t until reformation that the birthday party became
a more common occurrence in England. People then began to
make cakes and treats for the birthday person and would
often tuck small fortune tokens into the cake for guests.
It is thought that children’s birthday parties originated
in Germany and was called Kinderfeste.
Over time, birthday parties have evolved from small
gatherings to ward away evil spirits, to wealthy or royalty
held events to what is now known as our modern birthday
In fact, most people celebrate with some sort of party,
especially children. A cake is typically commonplace and
almost always is alit with birthday candles, which the
birthday person gets to blow out and make a wish.