In the United States most people celebrate their birthdays on the day of the month they were born.
Birthdays are celebrated with family and friends. Invitations are sent for a party. A birthday cake with candles is served. The number of candles represents the age of the birthday person. The candles are lighted. The person makes three wishes and then blows the candles out in one breath so the wishes will come true.
People sing “Happy Birthday” and wish the person health and long life.
It is traditional to bring or send greeting cards and gifts to the birthday person. Many people send flowers. Other gifts can be clothing, books, CDs, or perfumes. There are birthstones and flowers for each month of the year. These can be also appropriate gifts.
Parties for children are usually held at home. At children’s parties, children wear birthday hats and get souvenirs from the birthday child.
Sometimes birthdays are celebrated at school in the classroom with classmates. Mothers bring cake, candy and refreshments for the whole class. Some parties are catered at restaurants. They reserve a special room for the birthday group and supply the refreshments and decorations.
Some birthdays are special. Girls have a special celebration for the sixteenth birthday, called “sweet sixteen”. The eighteenth birthday is important because it is a legal voting age. The legal age for driving and drinking alcohol varies with each state.
Some people want to celebrate the birthday of a relative or friend with a “surprise party”. They organize the party, but the birthday person does not find about it. When the person comes to the party everyone shouts “SURPRISE!”
It is nice to remember the birthday of family and friends. One way to show this is by sending birthday cards, making a telephone call, or sending emails. Some people make contributions to charities in the name of the birthday person.