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You are celebrating birthdays wrong.

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Oh yes, here is another post.

I simply have to share my deep and insightful thoughts about everything. It is okay if you don't want to read it. I am also seldom interested in what other people have to say. Unless those "other people" are my mom, dad, Demure Denyse, Sluggy Sophia or someone I like (no one yet, really).

Anyway, before A-levels I had this sudden epiphany about birthdays, which I of course eagerly shared with my tuition class. No one but Mr Jaryl, my teacher, seemed particularly interested. Which is okay, since I said, it is hard to be interested in other people's theories when we have so many wonderful theories ourselves. I think even Mr Jaryl might be patronizing me because there were a lot of "hahas" and other patronizing yet encouraging statements in his reply. But damn, Mr Jaryl is one of the nicest persons I have ever come across in my life. If you get to know him, you probably must have been a philanthropist in your previous life. Like me.

I could have saved a country. Like Russia maybe?

Okie, no more digressing.

My point is we are celebrating birthdays all wrong.

It is like, you get the idea of birthday right?

Each year when you are celebrating your birthday, you are getting a year older. Which, in more pessimistic and fatalistic terms, you are a year closer to dying from old age or organ deterioration. Which, logically, is nothing much to celebrate about.

See, which is why is makes no sense at all to be celebrating the day when you are officially a year older. Or being so happy. Giving gifts is even weirder. It is like,

"Here is a gift to you. Congratulations on becoming older and being one step closer to dying."

That morbid. I blame it on pre-A-level hormonal changes.

What I found was weirder is the fact that we almost always put candles onto our birthday cakes. Right? Like when you are 6 years old, we have 6 candles. Then when we are 10 years old, we have 10 candles.

What is on a candle?

A flame.

What is a flame? It is light.

What does light symbolize? Illumination of future paths. Hope and goodness.

See what I mean now?

If you have lived for seven years, it means that 7 years of your whole life are gone now. Why then are you illuminating the 7 stupid candles? Shouldn't you be say, be doing this instead?


  1. Using details from your family tree and stuff, calculate the average life span of your family members. Minus 10 years* from it. That is probably your life span.
  2. For example if your life span is 80 years (which is really long considering the amount of toxic we are exposed to today), then on your first birthday, you put 80 candles on your cake. That must be a huge ass cake. Or you can say, be lazy and use those number candles that are less fun.
  3. Then on your 2nd birthday, put 79 candles. 
  4. So on and so forth.
  5. The number of candles on your cake = the number of years you roughly have left.
(* minus ten years because of lousy air, water and food we have nowadays. If you smoke and eat junk food everyday, minus 15 for you man)

But that would be so morbid. Ain't it? Each birthday party is like a reminder of how soon you are going to die.

So our celebration today is actually a simplified version of the really complicated version I have just described. 

Your "birth"day party ritual is always completed with ONE IMPORTANT THING

The blowing out of candles.

Now it all fits!

If flames symbolize light and hope, then the extinguishing of flames is a figurative "killing" of the light and hope. Or rather, the "extinguishing" of the light.

Which means that you are literally snuffing out the 7 or 8 years that you have already lived along with those candle flames you blow out. Hence, by doing so, you are recognizing that those years that you "blew out" are now gone like the last trail of smoke from your once flickering flame.

So morbid. So cool.

So, next time, if you want to celebrate your birthday, my suggestion is, don't get a cake and don't use candles. Candles are a fire hazard and the cake, well it not only makes you fat, it also contains loads of food additives. Eat a couple of apples, drink some tea, and try to think about 8 years or 10 years well spent, not just "blown out" like that.



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