Birthday Customs in Different Cultures

In a conversation with a friend, prompted by one of our birthdays, an interesting question about birthday customs came up. Both of us are of German origin and so we had experienced the different ways how your fiends treat you at your birthday. There may be many different customs around the US, but at least here in Southern California, your friends take you out.

The very opposite happens in Germany: it’s your birthday and you are supposed to treat your friends to something, drinks mostly. One has to “einen ausgeben” – “spend one.”

You can imagine that this can lead to conflict if it is not known, we will get the cat and dog, or Venus and Mars phenomena.

Now, that it’s noted and out on the internet, there is no more excuse for any tension due to this cultural difference.

On the occasion of this birthday I take the liberty of showing of this photo I snapped a while back. Even though the occasion was a valentine’s day and not a birthday, it is still appropriate as it could have been for a birthday…