Ask any little kid what their favorite day of the year is and they’ll probably say, “My birthday!” Though your love for birthdays may have soured a bit since you were a kid (especially when you hit the big 3-0 or 4-0), birthdays are a universally beloved tradition that nearly everyone on the planet celebrates in one way or another.
Other than the fact that yours comes around once a year, how much do you really know about birthdays? Don’t blow out the candles too soon, and check out these birthday fun facts.
- August is the most popular birth month, accounting for nearly 9 percent of all birthdays in the world.
- On the other hand, the month with the least amount of birthdays is February.
- In 1997, Paul McCartney’s birth certificate became the most expensive birth certificate in the world, when it sold at an auction for $84,146!
- To celebrate his 50th birthday, the Sultan of Brunei threw a birthday party costing $27.2 million. Two decades later, it still holds the record for “Most expensive birthday party.”
- Just like every birth month has its own Zodiac sign and jewel, it also has a birth flower.
- “Happy Birthday To You” is the most popular song in the English language. But be careful the next time you sing it — it’s copyrighted!
- If you’re looking to get someone flowers for their birthday, odds are it’ll be roses — the most popular flower choice for birthdays.
- The world’s largest birthday cake was created by the city of Las Vegas to celebrate its 100th birthday. The 130,000-pound, 52-foot-wide cake took 600 volunteers to make.
- The first candles were placed in birthday cakes as a way of honoring the Greek goddess of worship.
- Speaking of candles, the first birthday cake with candles was had in 18th century Greece.
- Europeans were the first ones to use noisemakers on someone’s birthday, as they thought it would help keep evil spirits away.
- William Shakespeare died on his 52nd birthday — April 23, 1616.
- Don’t give someone in China a watch or clock for their birthday — it’s considered bad luck!
- You won’t find Sweet 16s in Korea. There, the most honored and celebrated birthdays are your 60th and 100th.
- In Malaysia, people rarely open the gifts they receive in front of others.
- In a sense, the people of Vietnam have two birthdays — the day they were born and the Tết. Tết is the Vietnamese New Year in which everyone in Vietnam is considered another year older.
- It turns out that cake isn’t as common a birthday food as you may have thought. In Australia, people celebrate their birthday with fairy bread, a type of sweet bread that’s slathered in butter and sprinkles.
- In China, the birthday boy or girl will traditionally eat “long life noodles.” It’s believed that how happy and prosperous the next year of your life will be depends on how long you can slurp one continuous noodle.
- In Russia, people take the time to hand write very personal messages in one another’s birthday cards. So, someone would be pretty insulted if you just gave them a card that just said “Happy Birthday.”
In a year since your last birthday…
- 31,536,000 seconds have passed.
- The sun has traveled 584,337,600 miles.
- Your hair has grown nearly five inches.
- You’ve had close to 1,500 dreams (even if you don’t remember them).
With all your newfound birthday knowledge, how are you going to celebrate your next big day?