Colourful Birthday Digits
Congratulations. For Celebrating a Special Moment.
So it can finally come, the most beautiful moment on the birthday morning. The moment when the birthday boy or girl wakes up, if he or she was able to sleep at all because of all the excitement, and runs to the cheerfully and colourfully decorated birthday breakfast table – and stands there in amazement. This is how we prefer to imagine it. Possibly the child actually stands and marvels for a moment before he or she begins, no less excitedly, to unwrap the gifts, perhaps making a bit of a mess of, well, the decorations. So what? After all, it’s not every day you have a birthday. Besides, you are well-provided with a naturally long-lasting decoration by choosing the birthday train made of lime wood – for many more happy birthday parties.
That we joyfully and extensively celebrate birthdays is – for once – not a long-standing tradition. Admittedly, the pharaohs accepted homage on the day of their birth, but was there a single day they didn’t? And the homage was paid to the god, not so much to the person behind the deity. If nothing else, the ancient Romans did not honour the man himself with a birthday celebration but rather his patron god.
Only gradually did the human being as such come into focus. This focus on the individual had its delicate beginnings with the Renaissance, the European Reformation and the French Wars of Religion. The ideas of the Enlightenment also acted as an important driving force for the appreciation of the individual, while the philosophical movement considered the education of the child to a rational human being as one of its most essential tasks. Every step in this development could be celebrated, and the annual birth date was ideally suited as a recurring milestone. Nevertheless, it took well into the 19th century before the lower middle and working classes began to celebrate each person’s birthday. Possibly there were quite simple pecuniary reasons for this; after all, one must be able to afford a celebration, no matter how small. For celebrations have always been held with best wishes for happiness, health and God’s blessing – and with small gifts, for which the birthday boy’s or girl’s family would return the favour with food and drink. That’s what tradition calls for to this day – to the children’s delight in particular, who enthusiastically embrace the experience of being at the centre of joyful celebration and appreciation on this day.
Not suitable for children younger than 10 months of age. Risk of injury to the throat.
Article Number 204826
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