It is of course only human nature to believe that our culture and heritage hit the nails right on the head when it comes to special occasions and birthday rituals. But for those willing to look a little further afield, there is a whole world of interesting and amusing practices going on that hold just as much significance to millions. Indeed, given the fact that most of us are always striving for a way of making the upcoming birthdays devoid of all clichés and outright boredom, why not consider giving another idea a go from this list of some of the most unusual though rather delightful birthday rituals from around the world?


United States – Smash The Cake!

Cake smash!
photo by Jonathan Rivera [CC BY 2.0], via flickr

Starting off with the veritable cultural melting-pot that is the good old USA, parents in their millions are being swept by a new and undeniably fun craze known as the giving of “smash-cakes”. Essentially a spin-off from the classic birthday cake idea, this is something that sees additional cakes being baked in order for toddlers and children to simply destroy the cake and make as much mess as their heart desires. Created for children but it’s clearly just as much fun for adults! Maybe ever more so.


United Kindgom – Birthday Bumps!

Over in the UK, or more specifically Ireland and England, kids of all ages are given the “bumps” as an annual birthday ritual, as has been practiced for generations. Thankfully, this is not a grim medical condition as the name may suggest but is instead the process of picking up the lucky birthday person by their arms and legs, so as to be bumped on the floor for each year of their age. The reference of this particular practice rather diminishes with age, for obvious reasons. Notably, a similar tradition exists in India but there are butt kicks involved in the process. Yep. That’s actual kicks in the butt!


Caribbean – Copious Amounts Of Flour In Your Face!

Flour in your face
Flour in your face

In some Caribbean regions though most notably in Jamaica, a person can expect to have his or her special day celebrated by having copious amounts of flour thrown at them from friends, family and occasionally random onlookers alike. What’s more, the really lucky ones will be systematically soaked to the skin first, just to make sure the flour sticks and is a thousand times more difficult to remove!


Hungary – Earlobes Pulling

photo: via
photo: via

Pulling on the earlobes is a common tradition around the world and is used to wish good luck and a happy life, much in the same way as the aforementioned British bumps. However, the practice is particularly delightful in Hungary, where following the opening of the presents, all in attendance tug on the earlobes of the lucky birthday boy or girls while singing a song translating as “God bless you, live so long so your ears reach your ankles”.


Germany – Sweeping The Front Steps Of The Town Hall

It's your birthday so you better start sweeping

In certain German regions, there is a long-standing tradition where single men upon turning 30 are required to go out and sweep the front steps of the town hall or a local church. Supposedly to show off how good they are at keeping a house clean and tidy. Who could resist such a man, right? The tradition also dictates that they are not allowed to leave until kissed by a lady, albeit in most cases for reasons of pity.


  1. Me too! I’m actually doing a speech about weird birthday traditions from around the world, and this site was incredibly helpful. Thank you so much!

  2. Lol, I could definitely imagine my friends and random people pinning me to the ground and smearing butter on my nose. Hilarious I can’t get it out of my head, great, I think I need mental help now

  3. Oh my god that evil clown one can’t b true!!!
    Please let it b true tho because I’m writing an article about weird birthday traditions and I need good material!!!


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