Today, Monday, August 29th , 2011 is the Birthday of Taati, one of my Hubert Humphrey Fellows,CronkiteSchool. Taat’s birthday inspired me not to say to her : “Happy Birthday, Taati”, but, also, to think about the roots of celebrating birthdays.
Interestingly enough, I have found that this custom has its roots in the ancientEgypt, as the Pharaoh of Egypt was the first to celebrate his birthday. General speaking, celebrating Birthday was common among the rich and ruling elite not among common people.
In the pagan cultures, there was a belief that bad and evil spirits came around the person who had a turning point in his / her life, such as turning a year older, that ‘s to harm him / her. Therefore, family and friends of the celebrant surrounded him / her to protect him/ her from the evil. It was a habit, also, to give gifts to the celebrant and bring him / her happy wishes.
The custom of celebrating birthdays has stand till our recent times. Regardless the fears of the evil spirit, it is always our happiness to share with our friends and family their happy and turning points in their life. Hence, I wish to say to Taati and all people who celebrate their birthday.. “Happy and Blessing Birthday.”