Scotland – Birthday Bumps Again!

photo: James Gray-King via Flickr
photo: James Gray-King via Flickr

Scotland’s take on the “bumps” now which in typical Scottish style do not beat around the bush and are administered by a straight-up though casually soft smack to the backside. The one bonus for Scottish birthday folk comes by way of a pound note to accompany each smack for every year being celebrated – plus on more for luck.


China – The Mun Yuet Celebration

Baby Showers in China
via Pinterest.com, enjoybespokeevents.wordpress.com

A little-known fact about China is the way in which children do not receive their official names until what is known as the Mun Yuet celebration (translates as Full Moon). Mun Yuet takes place a month after their birth. This ritual sees the baby become bound to the world by way of a symbolic item of jewelry, such as bracelets or a tiny padlock. It is kind of a baby shower but celebrated one month later.


Canada – None Greasing

Nose Butter
via doodledaddle.blogspot.com

A long-standing tradition in Canada is the practice of birthday nose-greasing, which as the name suggests is nothing more complicated than a coordinated attack on the birthday boy or girl. They are pinned kind of to the ground and their nose is smeared with butter or other greasy stuff. Apparently, the reason for the buttering is so as to make the person in question far too slippery for bad luck or negativity to get hold of in the coming year. Though given how much fun it sounds you really don’t need much of an explanation or justification.


Venezuela – Face Plunged Into The Cake

Cake In The Face
By wamtube – 13 , CC BY 2.0

A tradition that seems to have caught on around the world like wildfire. More often than not, a Venezuelan celebrating their birthday is fully expected to have their face plunged into the cake when blowing out the candles. As is the same with most other examples across the world the gesture is supposed to be one of love, laughter and luck for the year ahead.

Needless to say, there is a degree of skill involved in ensuring the candles have indeed been properly blown out before executing this ritual. You know, so as to avoid the mirror opposite of love and laughter!


Switzerland – The Evil Clown

Dominic Deville, The Evil Clown
Dominic Deville, The Evil Clown

And last but not least, my personal favorite has to be this quite common a practice in Switzerland, or, more specifically Lucerne. Like something from a straight-to-DVD though arguably disturbing horror flick, parents will sometimes hire a clown (and an evil clown at that) who will menacingly follow and generally torment that special someone, before eventually concluding with a pie to the face.

Of course, the gesture is again only one of good luck, health, and happiness for the birthday boy or girl but I personally cannot think of anything more terrifying or sinister!

Try this one out at your own discretion, but it may be advisable to gauge exactly how strong the resolve of the “recipient” is ahead of time, in order to avoid a birthday both you and they will never forget for all the wrong reasons.


  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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