Explore More stories by Kids Like You

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY: How Children Celebrate Birthdays in India”

By Evelyn Hunter*

My name is Evelyn. I live in India and I just turned six years old. If you are one or if you are three or at any age, you will still have a good birthday in India. On their birthdays, children wear “coloured” clothes to school instead of their uniforms. This year I wore a pink skirt and shirt with matching bangles (twelve sparkling, metal bracelets) and a new necklace. Everything I wore was new. Children are so excited to wear even new shoes and hair accessories and sometimes a purse!

On my birthday, I got to be the first in line. I took a bag of candy and gave a sweet to each of my fifty-four classmates, my teachers, principles and other workers at the school. When I gave Mrs. Moses, the principal, a sweet, she gave me a nice bookmark. My class sang “Happy Birthday” to me.

Birthdays, not Christmas, are the big celebration in India. Sometimes larger dinner parties are held with catered or home-cooked Indian food like biryani (spicy fried rice) with different gravies, tasty vegetable dishes or mutton (goat) or chicken. At the birthday party a balloon filled with lots of confetti, is held above the children and popped. The children scream with glee as the shinny confetti sprinkles into their hair and down to the ground. When the guests leave, the birthday child gives them a sweet, or piece of candy. The Indian children wait until after the guest leave to open their presents.

*Name changed for security reasons.

Evelyn Hunter is a Missionary Kid in South Asia.