No matter how we celebrate our birthday, festive food is always a part of the celebrations! UNICEF colleagues Nancy and Lotte give you a glimpse of the UNICEF-kitchen and bake a delicious and healthy birthday cake!
Eating pie, cheese cubes or ‘borrelnootjes’ while sitting in a circle, or congratulating each other with the birthday girl or boy: people from other countries might think our Dutch birthday traditions are quite peculiar. But how do people from other countries celebrate their birthdays? Down below you can read some examples.
In Jamaica, flour is not only used to bake cake but also to sprinkle (or bombard) your loved ones with on their birthday! Often, the lucky person has been sprinkled with water as well. In this manner, the flour will stick better.
In China, the birthday boy or girl gets a bowl filled with extra long noodles, or ‘longevity noodles’. These noodles symbolize a long life, and when eating them, you should slurp them as much as you can before biting them off. Another Chinese birthday tradition is the eating of ‘red eggs’. The peeling of the eggshell symbolizes a new, fresh start of a new year.
The Vietnamese Tung celebrates his seventh birthday and blows out the candles.
Everybody celebrates their birthday together in Vietnam. During a three-day event called Tết Nguyên Đán, people celebrate not only their own birthday, but also the arrival of spring and the start of a new year. Families and friends come together to celebrate this party. Tết Nguyên Đán comes along with a lot of Vietnamese traditions and beliefs. An example of a belief is that people trust that the amount of luck they’ll have next year, is determined by the relationship they have with the person first entering their house at the date of this event.
In Australia, you don’t eat pie or cake on your birthday, but the so-called ‘fairy bread’! This easy but delicious treat is made of slices of white bread, then topped with butter and coloured sprinkles. Most of the time, fairy bread is cut in triangles and handed out at children’s parties.
In Canada, they take the Dutch saying “with your nose in the butter”, which means having good luck, very literally. When you celebrate your birthday in Canada, you’ll get your nose buttered by your loved ones. With a slippery nose, you are too slippery for bad luck and negativity. You’ll attract positive things only!
These Vietnamese boys are happy with their gifts
© UNICEF/Vu Le Hoang
On behalf of UNICEF the Netherlands, we wish you a very happy birthday! You ensure that children worldwide grow up healthy and get opportunities, so that they hopefully can celebrate as many birthdays as possible. Your support makes a world of difference and we’re very grateful for your loyalty.