How to Celebrate Birthday
Birthday is a day that comes once a year, and it should be celebrated for several reasons. A birthday is a time when a person acknowledges the anniversary of his or her birth. In most cultures, birthdays are celebrated in some of the same ways. Often, birthdays are celebrated with a gift, party, or some other special act. There are reasons birthdays should be celebrated.
Every time when you have a birthday, it is an indication that you still have work to do for the Kingdom of God. Your birthday is a sign that you have another chance to fulfil your unique mission.
We’ve a culture of celebrating birthdays as well in India, but not like now definitely. Hindu birthday celebration is exactly opposite to the western way. We light lamps, but in the West, candles are blown out. We also think it is inauspicious to hand a knife/ weapon or anything sharp to the other person.
So, lighting a lamp reminding the child of the true path to follow, prayers for enlightenment and the importance of shining like a lamp to the others. Our Culture shows the path of going from Darkness to light.
The Slogan “TAMASO MA JYOTIRGAMAYA” shows the path.
Even during Aarti, we never put it off after the Aarti is over.
We wait for the Aarti to go off in its own way.
Birthdays Starts from Sunrise and not at the Stroke of 12:00 Midnight.
One should wake up early in the morning.
Then he should have a bath with Oil, Turmeric and Chandan applies on body with help of elderly women in the family.
Then he should wear new clothes. Then pray to God, take blessing from all the elders in the house by touching their feet, then eat some yummy sweet which mother specially made for the occasion.
In the evening invite (not every year) some very close family members, then they make you sit in a chair and everyone puts kumkum tilak on the forehead and put akshatas (turmeric rice) and then give gifts and blessings. Then in the end they light up a little lamp /Diya and give arati like they do towards God. Basically, it is a sort of blessing meaning
“May you be victorious and prosper more and more in the upcoming year”.
Then take blessings of all relatives by touching their feet.
So apart from your own personal party, do make sure you feed at least a few people who are starving, especially kids, the sick, the poor, the disabled. You should not do it with a sense of pride but with a sense of thankfulness that God gave you the resources and means that you can spare some food.