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Traditions from Around the World:
How Birthdays Came About

    Thousands of years ago birthdays were considered a time when the bad spirits as opposed to the good spirits were able to harm you as this day changed a person's life. It was believed that the only way to keep the bad spirits at bay was to have your friends and family around you so that their good wishes and present giving would keep them at bay.

    Also noisemakers are thought to be used at parties as a way of scaring away the evil spirits.

    The custom of lighting candles originated with people believing that the gods lived in the sky and by lighting candles and torches they were sending a signal or prayer to the gods so they they could be answered. When you blow out the candles and make a wish this is another way of sending a signal and a message.

    This is how the way we celebrate our birthday came about. But different cultures celebrate in different ways.

    The birthday Bible story that we know best is about the birth of the Christ in Bethlehem. For nearly 2,000 years since that day, the Christian world has honored this birth. The day we all celebrate, is of course, Christmas.

    There are other biblical references to birthday party's. King Pharaoh celebrated his birthday by making a feast for his court followers. That was over 4,000 years ago. The story of King Herod tells that on his birthday he made a supper for his lords, high captains and other special friends in Galilee.

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