Random Facts: Chinese Birthday traditions

Random Facts: Chinese Birthday traditions

Last week it was one of my colleague’s birthday, so I learned a bit about the differences of celebrating birthdays here.

Being born marks your first birthday, so my coworker will celebrate her 30th birthday next year, though she was born in 1989. That means someone born in China is one year older then someone born the same day in Germany 🙂 For official purposes it is counted the same way we do. I also found out that this is different across China, for example my colleague and her finance, who is from the Hunan province, count differently.

Traditional food to eat on your birthday is noodles. Long noodles = long life.

Eating cake on your birthday is also popular here but (at least in Shanghai) people usually don’t bake it themselves but buy some. Sadly it’s also not expected that you bring cake for your colleagues. Maybe I will try to introduce that 🙂

In China, you celebrate your birthday either the day of your birthday or sometime before your birthday but never afterwards. The same goes for presents: You can give them to someone before the day or on the day but if you miss it, it’s over. No belated birthday gifts allowed.

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