In my sleepless hours I began to ponder birthdays. I don’t celebrate them, mine or anybody else’s, and I began to wonder why people do. I’ve never understood it, it seems such an alien thing to me so I turned to the god of all answers, google
Apparently, it was originally a pagan tradition. They thought that evil spirits came out on a person’s birthday each year so they lit candles on the day, one for each year or the person’s life and a few more to represent the coming years. The candles brought light to chase away the evil spirits.
The ancient Greeks believed that each person had a spirit that attended his or her birth, and kept watch. That spirit “had a mystic relation with the God on whose birthday the individual was born,” so says the book, The Lore of Birthdays.
The ‘happy birthday to you’ song is the most recognizable song in the English language, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and started as a song for schoolkids.
In 1893, two Kentucky schoolteachers, Patty and Mildred Hill wrote “Good Morning To All.” The tune was published in a book for schoolteachers then in 1933, the song was in an Irving Berlin musical. The sisters hold the copyrights to the song although the words were changed, and it’s not clear who changed the words.
The owner of the copyright splits proceeds with the Hill’s estate, which is reported to be worth $2 million a year.
I wonder if anybody here celebrates birthdays and if so, why?
I should have done. Instead, I made some long-faced remark about how ageist assumptions were clearly something that only the young were allowed to hold. I also mentioned something about superficiality. She didn't say any more, leastways...