|" April"--Tres Riches Heures du duc de Berry by Limbourg Brothers|
|By Jeff Dahl (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons|
You can't celebrate a birthday without the aid of a calendar of sorts so the first festivities originated after the advent of means to mark the passing of time. Ancient Egyptian astronomers used the stars to note the passing of one year to the next since the movement of the heavenly bodies was constant and observable. It is no great surprise, then, that some of the earliest recorded birthday celebrations were for those of the Pharaohs who were considered gods on earth. Most birthday parties of the ancient world were reserved for royalty and this may be the origin of the later day wearing of special birthday crowns. We're all kings and queens on our birthdays! A little later on, the Greeks celebrated their goddess, Artemis, by baking moon-shaped cakes and lighting them with candles to simulate lunar light. Romans followed by being the first to celebrate the birthdays of mere mortals, with those reaching their fiftieth birthdays given special recognition with cakes made from wheat flour, olive oil, honey and grated cheese. Of course, those special days were reserved for the male population until around the 12th century when us lowly females were deemed worthy of celebration.
|By Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Milano via Wikimedia Commons|
|Mildred and Patty Hill|
|Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday Mr. President"|
Yale Joel/Life Magazine/Time&Life Pictures, Getty Images
So, next time you celebrate a birthday, break out the noise makers, wear a paper crown, and make a good wish when you blow out the candles on your cake as your well-wishers gather around singing "Happy Birthday to You!"
Have a good couple weeks, dear Reader. Thanks for stopping by...y'all come back now!