Birthday plays extreme important in our lives. Birthday traditions in different countries, though quite similar, vary in specific ways to that particular country. Many Africans do not celebrate birthdays but arrange initiation ceremonies and participate in ancient rituals. Most Asian children wear finest new clothes and seek blessings of their parents on their birthdays. Elders in the family and friends give them money and gifts. Many children visit shrines along with their families to thank God for their health and strength and ask to be blessed with continued well-being in the future. Each European country has its own traditions of celebrating birthdays. Native American tribes lay emphasis on milestones in a child's development rather than the day a child is born.
Gregorian calendar is widely used all over the world and so it is common and easier to remember and celebrate Birthdays. As per the Vedic tradition, there is a special place for birthdays as to when and how they are celebrated. Hindus celebrate birthday according to solar or lunar calendar followed in their communities. Birthdays are celebrated according to the Hindu month when the child was were born, the day (tidhi) that comes in either that of waxing or waning moon and/or the birth star (nakshatra). In some regions Hindus give importance to the tidhi and in some the nakshatras. Celebrating a birthday is actually expressing gratitude to God.
In the first year of life every month and thereafter every year on the date of birth as per the Hindu calendar one should bathe after an oil massage. This should be, followed by application of kumkum (vermilion) on the forehead. Mother gives arathi and blesses the child. As an adult perform ritualistic worship to the family deity by lighting an oil lamp, offer namaskar to parents and elders in the family. At the end of this ritual unbroken turmeric- rice grains (akshataa) are sprinkled on the head of the one who is performed after venerating one’s family deity. Any gift given to the child is considered as a holy sacrament. There are benefits of celebrating a birthday as per the Hindu calendar (tithi) day or (nakshatra) star of the moon, as against the date of birth as per the Western calendar. When celebrating the birthday on this date, through the rituals and a prayer made unto the family deity, the supreme energy generated helps to combat the distressing energy attacks at various levels. I also read that physical body benefits 5% and subtle body 95%. Satva (quality of goodness) component of the subtle body increases and so does his/her introverted attitude.
Hindus who celebrate birthday with modern day practice of cutting cake and gather around friends to party, visit temples first and perform pujas. The blessings and good wishes of relatives and well-wishers bring maximum benefit to the individual celebrating the birthday as per the Hindu calendar. If your family follows Hindu calendar, the best thing for you is to celebrate as per the Hindu calendar. If you think calculating the days on Hindu calendar is difficult, use the technology, now there are many applications and software you can download to help calculate. A birthday is a time to celebrate birth itself, the joy of life.
"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip."