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339/365 – Birthday

A birthday is a day or anniversary when a person celebrates his or her date of birth. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with a gift, party or rite of passage.

Although the major religions celebrate the birth of their founders (e.g., Buddha’s Birthday), Christmas – which is celebrated widely by Christians and non-Christians alike – is the most prominent example.

In contrast, certain religious groups, as is the case with Jehovah’s Witnesses, express opposition to the very idea of celebrating birthdays.

Legal conventions

In most legal systems, one becomes a legal adult on a particular birthday (often between 14 and 21[2]), and reaching age-specific milestones confers particular rights and responsibilities.

At certain ages, one may become subject to military conscription or become eligible to enlist in the military, to marry without parental consent, to vote, to run for elected office, to legally purchase (or consume) alcohol and tobacco products, to purchase lottery tickets, or to obtain a driver’s license.

Birthday traditions

In many portions of the world an individual’s birthday is celebrated by a party where a specially made cake, usually decorated with lettering and the person’s age, is presented.

The cake is traditionally studded with the same number of lit candles as the age of the individual, or a number candle representing their age. The celebrated individual will usually make a silent wish and attempts to blow out the candles in one breath; if successful, it means the wish will be granted.

In many cultures, the wish must be kept secret or it won’t “come true”. Presents are bestowed on the individual by the guests appropriate to his/her age.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday

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