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Traditions from Around the World:

Birthday Celebrations from Israel

    In Israel the child who's birthday it is wears a crown made from leaves or flowers and sits in a chair decorated in streamers. Guests dance around the chair singing. The parents lift the chair while the child sits in it.

    After this they everyone eats cake. Usually cakes are made in a design reflecting what mught interest the child such as soccer, dog, teddy bear, cats, etc.

    Guests have races or play games of skill. The race involves balancing a potato on a spoon.

    The thiteenth birthday is the most special as it is one this day a boy (bar) as well as some girls (bat) celebrate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Each child has to prepare for this service for many months or even years ahead of time. On this day they must now obey the jewish laws as an adult and behave responsibly.

    The sixteenth is also as they can get a job, a drivers license, or the girls can have their first grown-up party.

    The Eighteenth is another as it is now the age when you can vote. And you can also join the armed forces.

    The official language is Hebrew.

    A small child sits in a chair while grown-ups raise and lower it a number of times corresponding to the child's age, plus one for good luck.

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