Friday, May 31, 2013

"Chuck E. Cheese for my birthday, Chuck E., Chuck E. Cheese for my birthday..."

“Last week the candle factory burned down. Everyone just stood around and sang Happy Birthday.”- Steven Wright

          According to a public record births database there tends to be more births in the months of September and October. There may be a correlation between holiday seasons nine months before. Couples are snuggling up and getting busy on the longest nights of the year in the Northern Hemisphere nine months prior. A Harvard University research study showed September 16 to be the most common birthday at one point in the United States. December 25 is the least common birthday. Now October 5 and 6 are the most frequently occurring birthdays. However, in my family June is the most popular birthday month. My sister, brother, his wife and my nephew will celebrate birthdays in the month of June.
     A symbol that is closely tied to a birthday celebration is the custom of putting candles on your birthday cake. How did this tradition start? The Greek people who took their cakes to Artemis placed candles on the cake because it made the cake look as if it was glowing like the moon. "Hey, if the moon was made out of birthday cake would you eat it? "The German people were known as excellent candle makers and started to make small candles for their birthday cakes. Some people say that the candles were put on cakes for religious reasons. In some countries of the world they place a big candle in the center of the cake to symbolize the "light of life". Others believed that the smoke from fires would take their wishes up to heaven. Today many people make silent wishes as they blow out their candles. They believe that blowing out all the candles in one breath will bring good luck. Our family has an uncommon tradition of finding unique birthday cards featuring monkeys. We are not sure how this started but believe it originated with my brother, Steve. The tradition of sending birthday cards began in England over one hundred years ago but I doubt they featured lovable chimpanzees' in pink fairy godmother tutu's waving a magic wand to grant your birthday wish. With any "luck" people will forget it's your birthday as you get older or at best remember Robert Frost's sage advice, “A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.”   Then there are those who believe in joyously celebrating each year on earth. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? It's not age or maturity we are celebrating but a love of life and an appreciation of acquired wisdom.
Happy Birthday,to my sis.. Love you!


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