#1
Pagan Origins of Birthdays
The practice of celebrating one's birth in ancient times did not exist. Typically, only kings and those of royalty were the only ones worthy enough to have their birthdays celebrated. With the perfecting of the calendar by the Egyptians, who named the days of the week in honor of the various gods they worshipped, it became possible to keep the exact date of one's birth. According to the 1991 edition of Encyclopedia Americana, ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Persia celebrated the births of their gods, kings, and nobles.

The introduction of the Egyptian calendar became linked to astrology and fortune-telling. The keeping of birthdays, then, was important in ancient times, essentially due to the fact that the date of one's birth was directly related to the casting of a person's horoscope (Linton, Ralph and Adelin, The Lore of Birthdays, p. 12).

In early civilizations, according to Linda Rannells Lewis in Birthdays, it was believed that "the horoscopes of ruling monarchs, their successors and rivals had to be cast with care and birthday omens meticulously examined", because the prognostications of kings and those of royalty affected the entire society.

It was also believed that one could be helped by good spirits or pursued by evil spirits on one's birthday. For this reason, people would gather around the birthday person to offer protection from evil spirits. The Greeks believed that everyone had a protective spirit that guarded over his birth and protected him during his life. This spirit, the Greeks believed, "had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born" (The Lore of Birthdays, p.8).

This belief in spirits is the reason for many, if not all, of the traditional birthday customs that are practiced today. The custom of lighting candles on the birthday cake began with the Greeks. The Greeks worshipped Artemis, the goddess of the moon. They celebrated her birthday once a month with round cakes (to symbolize her shape), using lighted candles on the cakes, to represent a glowing moon. Birthday candles, which always held mystic significance, were "an honor and tribute to the birthday child and [brought] good fortune" (The Lore of Birthdays).

Other birthday traditions, such as surrounding the birthday person, the singing of the happy birthday song, blowing out candles, and even playing such birthday games as "Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey" were all associated with warding off evil spirits, guessing the future, and magic.

Early Church History Regarding Birthdays

The custom of celebrating one's birth was considered a pagan practice during the first and second centuries A.D. Because astrology was closely linked with the date of one's birth, many early church fathers rejected the notion of honoring birthdays because astrology was condemned in the bible (Isaiah 47:13).

Flavius Josephus, a first-century Hebrew historian, says this regarding birthdays: "Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children." (Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, Book 2, Section 25).

Comments from the Catholic Church as well as many of the early church fathers establishes the fact that many Christians objected to the celebration of birthdays. Origen of Alexandria, an early theologian of the Christian church, wrote in 245 A.D.: "none of the saints can be found who ever held a feast or a banquet upon his birthday, or rejoiced on the day when his son or daughter was born." (Catholic Encyclopedia, 2003). Origen also asserted that it was sinners alone, and not saints, who celebrated their birthdays.

Catholic theologian Arnobius wrote during the late third century that: "you worship with couches [and] altars...by celebrating their services and their birthdays...to whom it was fitting that you should assail with keenest hatred." (Arnobius, Against the Heathen, Book 1, Chapter 64).

According to M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, "The Jews and early Christians regarded birthday celebrations as part of idolatrous worship." (Vol. 1, p. 817).

This sentiment, however, obviously began to change. According to the German periodical Schwabische and Zeitung of April 1981, "Down to the fourth century Christianity rejected the birthday celebration as a pagan custom". After the fourth century, celebrating one's birth became a common practice, due largely in part to the Romans, who having practiced this custom for thousands of years, began to embrace Christianity.


Happy birthday, Slacker
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#2
tldr.
Quote by Carmel
I can't believe you are whoring yourself out like that.

ಠ_ಠ
#5
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I don't think we have the same birthday since mine is actually tomorrow.

I would've gotten you the Library of Alexandria if it was still around
cat
#6
amazing

Happy birthday Slacker!
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#10
I couldn't have made a better birthday message myself.

Cheers, slacker.
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Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#11
who the fuck is slacker
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I love to have my vag pounded by guys who make lame threads on the internet!


Quote by snipelfritz
This thread topic is gold. I've been on this website for 8 years and I've never come up with anything like this. So yeah. Great job TS[457undead].
#14
Again, happy birthday!

Your present is in guitarxo's birthday thread. a painting of a hammer.
#15
Quote by 457undead
who the fuck is slacker

You're the worst kind of person, I have to be embarrassed on your behalf because you can't tell how embarrassing everything you say is yourself...

Happy centenary, slacker!
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

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3d9310rd is far more upset than i 
#16
Reading this on my Birthday...awesome. Slacker, nothing personal, but I hate you. And any people born on 6/21.
#18
Quote by BlueJayWater
Reading this on my Birthday...awesome. Slacker, nothing personal, but I hate you. And any people born on 6/21.

How can that be anything but personal lol
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#19
Happy Birthday, man.
Squier "VMC" Stratocaster
PRS SE Singlecut
tc electronic polytune
CMAT MODS Signa Drive
Blakemore Effects Deus Ex Machina
DIY gaussmarkov Dr. Boogey
EHX Small Clone
Mooer ShimVerb
DIY Beavis Devolt
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Ampeg GVT52-112
#21
Not really been bothered about birthdays since the age of about 15 apart from it being a good reason for getting all your mates together for a really good p155 up. Having said that, my mum bought me a beautiful Rolex for my 21st.
RPD - Finger Pickin' Good
#24
Quote by theogonia777
happy birthday

i got you a link to a relevant wikipedia article

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratitude

so you can copy and paste it here


Thanks, but I already have one.

Although I must admit that I find it interesting that the 'systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000.'
#25
Is this supposed to be a compliment for Slacker? I see it as sort of a mockery anyway happy bday. Definitely did not readlol
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
Last edited by Carnivean at Jun 22, 2014,
#26
Quote by Carnivean
Is this supposed to be a compliment for Slacker? Cuz I see it as sort of a mockery anyway happy bday. Definitely did not readlol

I think it's actually a genuine present because he loves that shit

happy birthday slacker, may your wisdom continue to make us all slightly less ignorant for many years to come
You who build these altars now

To sacrifice these children
You must not do it anymore
#27
Quote by the bartender
I think it's actually a genuine present because he loves that shit

happy birthday slacker, may your wisdom continue to make us all slightly less ignorant for many years to come


Why not just link an article instead of writing it out in Slacker-form? amusing nonetheless
Quote by Overlord
It's not hard to be nice, but it's nice to be hard
#28
Quote by Carnivean
Why not just link an article instead of writing it out in Slacker-form? amusing nonetheless

it was meant to be a humorous homage
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#29
It was not meant to be insincere or insulting.

Indeed, an homage.
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#30
Quote by BlueJayWater
Reading this on my Birthday...awesome. Slacker, nothing personal, but I hate you. And any people born on 6/21.

same