Celebrating Birthdays with Your International Student
Happy Birthday! Sheng ri kuai le!
Everyone loves birthdays whether you’re the one getting spoiled or doing the spoiling, birthdays just make everyone happy. It’s the one day a year, you can call it your own….unless you love to spend the whole month celebrating your birth!
Did you know that birthdays are not typically a big celebration in China? When a baby is born, it is considered to be one year old. On their second birthday, there is a celebration with presents such as money, symbolic items, and toys. After this birthday, most don’t have parties unless they are older. Some Chinese don’t celebrate with a party until they’re 60 years old! With the western movement making its way across the world, more people are celebrating at different ages and serving birthday cakes which are becoming more popular. Ask your host student prior to their birthday what they would like to see in your home. Included are ideas for you to use when honoring your birthday guest.
- Never give a clock or watch; this represents death.
- Money is always a good idea, this symbolizes wealth in their future.
- Serve long noodles (found in any asian market). These noodles represent a long life. Other birthday foods include hard boiled eggs for wealth and dumplings for fertility.
- Wrap those presents in red. This is for good luck. Stay away from the bad luck colors: black and white.
- Ask your host students what they would like to do. Most likely they’ll want to take part in a traditional American birthday with a party, decorations, and yummy food.
- If possible, let your host student call home. Hearing a family member’s voice can make the day extra special!
Remember to make this day special. Being far from home on their birthday may make them sad and lonely longing for their family. Keep them busy and have fun yourself!
- ThoughtCo. – https://www.thoughtco.com/celebrating-chinese-birthdays-687448
- Immerqi.com – https://immerqi.com/blog/chinese-birthday/
- Writtenchinese.com – https://www.writtenchinese.com/celebrate-chinese-birthday/
- The chinesequest – http://www.thechinesequest.com/2016/07/chinese-birthdays/