Birthdays Around the World

Contributor: Renae Green. Lesson ID: 12967

A birthday is an important celebration of a person's life. People around the world celebrate birthdays in different ways. What's your favorite way to celebrate a birthday? Maybe you'll find a new way!


Practical Life Skills, World Cultures

Social Studies
learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Did you ever stop to think about how amazing you are? How your personality, your gifts, your laughter, and your passions are all part of a design and purpose that began long before you were born?

This is why we celebrate birthdays. Not so we can give you presents (although for most of us that is a big part of birthdays), but so we can celebrate your incredible design.

Think about some of your amazing gifts and talents as we learn more about birthdays around the world.

People all over the world celebrate the incredible day they were born.

It is an opportunity to recognize a person’s life and appreciate all that they are. What’s fun is that birthday celebrations are different in different parts of the world. Let’s take a look at some of those unique traditions.

Many Americans celebrate with a birthday cake and lighted candles for each year of the person's life. A wish is made before blowing out these candles, in the hope it can be done with one breath and the wish will come true! This tradition is carried out after the guests at the celebration sing the song, "Happy Birthday to You."

Mexican children often celebrate with a piñata that is filled with candy and small toys. In Vietnam, birthdays are recognized on Vietnamese New Year because everyone is starting a new year of life. Chinese children slurp long noodles and try not to bite because the length of the slurp symbolizes the length of your life!

Australians eat fairy bread, which is bread with butter and candy sprinkles. If you live in Jamaica, you’d better run because you might get covered in flour! In Russia, it’s important to write a personal card to honor a person’s birthday. New clothes are often given to Indian children as birthday gifts.

Every culture has unique traditions to celebrate birthdays. These are important because every person is special and deserves to be celebrated!

  • Have you ever been invited to a birthday party?

People in the same geographical location often celebrate their birthdays in similar ways. But people in different countries or from different cultural backgrounds often have different traditions for this special day. Let’s look at how some people around the world celebrate with Birthdays around the world, from bebekce:


The Big Red Lollipop is a book by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. This book is about a girl whose family is new to the United States. She is invited to a birthday party, and some of the traditions are new to her and her family. After watching the video (below), answer these questions:

  1. What is Rubina excited about?
  2. Who is Ami?
  3. Why doesn’t Rubina want Sana to come with her to the party?
  4. What happens to Sana at the party?
  5. What do the girls receive when they leave the party?
  6. How does Rubina help Sana at the end of the book?

Big Red Lollipop read by Mariam Gabr:


It’s important to understand that different cultures celebrate in different ways. No way is right or wrong. It’s fun to learn and experience unique cultures around the world, don’t you think?

Continue to the Got It! section for a fun art project!

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