Happy thoughts about your special day
October is my birthday month. It’s time to celebrate and for plenty of reasons! Since the last one, 31,536,000 seconds have elapsed. My heart has pumped approximately 2.7 million liters of blood and beat 42 million times, and I’ve taken 15.8 million breaths give or take a few. Think about that the next time your birthday is on approach.
Each day, fifteen million people celebrate a birthday. When your age and date of birth are the same, the day is known as the Golden Birthday. August is the most popular month accounting for 9 percent of all birthdays in the world. The other months ranking high are July and September. The most common birth date is October 5 and May 22 has the fewest number of birthdays. Seems that could change since the population increases by roughly 76 million a year. Regardless, the card companies report that a total of 2 billion cards are sent annually.
Historically, birthday invitations are thought to date back to the 1st century AD. It is believed that Claudia Severa, wife of Roman commander, Aelius Brocchus was the first to send out birthday invitations using “Vindolanda Tablets.” These carbon-based, ink slabs were made of wooden leaf fragments and served as an archaic precursor to our modern-day equivalent of “save the date.”
The first picture of a birthday cake appears to have originated with the ancient Greeks when they made a beautiful round-shaped cake with candles and offered it to Artemis, the Moon Goddess, to satisfy her. Bet it wasn’t anywhere near the size of the one created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ft. Payne, Alabama in 1989. That cake weighed 128,238 pounds and used 16, 209 pounds of frosting.
The song “Good Morning to You” was written by Mildred Hill and Dr. Patty Hill for the kindergarten schools in 1893. Later on, Patty Hill changed the lyrics to “Happy Birthday” after it gained immense popularity. The song is still copyrighted and has been translated into 18 languages. My favorite way to sing the birthday song is backwards. How, you ask? As I learned in clown class, you turn around and sing it with your back facing the birthday person.
A recent survey showed that 71% of the participants love celebrating their birthday, at any age. I sure hope you are one of them.
Originally published in The Orange County Register, Laguna Woods edition, October 13, 2016.