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I have not heard about birthday celebrations in our puranas or texts.

But is there any account of Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna) celebration in any of the puranas or other texts? When did it start?

Also some more doubts:

  • How do Hindus celebrate birthdays generally?
  • How important is the birthday celebration in Hinduism?
  • Generally, Hindus celebrate the 60th birthday of people with much importance. Do yearly birthday celebrations have less importance in Hinduism? What do our scriptures say about it?
  • 1. It is incorrect to blow out a deepa/flame.Agni is sacred and there are rules on extinguishing a flame. So candles should never be blown out. Instaed light a deepa. 2. Just as 60th birthday, 70th is also celebrated (it is called bhima ratha santi) and so is 82/83 (called sahasra chandra darsana). All these include puja and worship and are aimed at giving thanks for one's life. 3. In general, any sacred day is celebrated by taking abhyangana snana, new clothes if you have them, prostrating to parents and guru and worshipping god. – user1195 Jan 16 '15 at 12:35
  • @moonstar2001 "It is incorrect to blow out a deepa/flame.Agni is sacred and there are rules on extinguishing a flame. So candles should never be blown out." I've never heard that before. What scriptures have rules on extinguishing a flame? There may be rules about extinguishing the fire of a yagna, but I'm not aware of rules about extinguishing fire in general. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 16 '15 at 16:16
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    @Keshav Isn't it an accepted practice to never blow out a sacred flame, wherever it may be? Like, it symbolises extinguishing knowledge and inviting ignorance. – Surya Jun 13 '16 at 11:09
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How do Hindus celebrate birthdays generally?

I think this is an opinion-based question. Most Hindu families living in urban areas these days have lost track of their roots and tradition on how to celebrate birthdays. They now simply resort to imitating the West by lighting candles on a birthday cake and blowing out candles.

The more pertinent question is:

How should a Hindu celebrate the birthday?

  1. First off, it it very important to celebrate ones birthday - should not neglect it. One should celebrate the birthday on the tithi they were born rather than a specific date from the English calendar. (You can calculate your Janmatithi from here).

  2. Wake up very early in the morning and start your day with abhyanga-snana i.e., take bath after applying oil, head to toe.

  3. Before you take the bath, have your parents and elders also apply some oil to your head and back (spine). Take their blessings. It's most important to take blessings of your parents and guru on your birthday. The elders in return usually bless by uttering:

    Shathamanam bhavathi
    shatayuH puruShaH shatendriyaH
    aayuShyevendriye pratitiShThati

    (a blessing to live for hundred years)

  4. After taking bath, pray to your kula-devata or ishta-devata.

  5. Then take a concoction of cow milk, jaggery and black sesame seeds. Turn to east and swallow the mixture 3 times (achamanam). This should prevent any obstacles you might face now until your next birthday.

  6. Next, remember the names of the 7 chiranjivi's (by birth): Ashwathama, Mahabali, Vyasa, Hanuman, Vibhishana, Kripacharya and Parashurama. Or simply say out loud:

    अश्वत्थामाबलिर्व्यासोहनुमांश्च विभीषण:
    कृपश्चपरशुरामश्च सप्तैतेचिरंजीविन:।

    Ashwathaama Balirvyaaso Hanumanshcha
    Vibhishanah Krupascha Parashuramashcha
    Saptaitey Chiranjivinah

  7. Ayushya Suktam from the Yajur Veda can be recited for a long and healthy life. Optionally, Ayushya Homam may also be performed.

  8. Visit the nearest temple

  9. One can eat the most delicious food they like but should maintain brahmacharya the entire day.

  10. If you can afford, donate food and clothes to the needy. If you cannot, feed green grass to a cow and circumambulate (pradakshina) the cow 3 times.

  11. Even by mistake, don't blow out candles or deepa (diya) as "candle-blower" (or it's equivalent in Sanskrit) is a derogatory term used for thieves - the idea is that before robbing a house a thief blows out the light source!

References:

  1. How to celebrate our birthday by Chaganti Koteswara Rao (YouTube video in Telugu)

  2. How to Celebrate Birthday on Bhakthi TV's Dharma Sandehalu (YouTube video in Telugu)

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From Hindujagruthi.org

Birthday is the day for enhancement of the ability of an embodied soul to imbibe chaitanya, through the benevolent frequencies gained by invoking Deities. Through this action which raises the sattva component in the atmosphere, the embodied soul achieves stability of the inner mind

In this website it is said that

A. Birthday of a person in Satyayug

In Satyayug, Tretayug (note) and Dwaparyug (Third in the cycle of the four eras), spiritually evolved individuals were either invited to bless the person on his first birthday, or the child would be taken to such individuals for their blessings. The evolved individual would perform aukshan (Ritual of waving a lit lamp in front of the individual) of the child and, making an unexpressed resolve, would shower akshata (Unbroken rice grains smeared with saffron and used in ritualistic worship) on various parts of the child's body, thus activating the chakras in those areas.

B. Birthday of a person in Tretayug and Dwaparyug Saints would assess the spiritual progress of a person during the year and then bless

In Tretayug and Dwaparyug, several spiritually evolved individuals would visit a person and would bless it for rapid spiritual progress or the person would visit Saints to seek their blessings. After receiving blessings from the spiritually evolved, the individual would make sincere efforts towards spiritual progress. On the subsequent birthday, when the individual would go to seek the blessings of a Saint, He would evaluate the spiritual progress made by the person during the year and only then bless him.

  1. Importance of celebrating the birthday as per the tithi A. Blessings and good wishes bestow maximum benefit

Our vibrations match the tithi of our birth most. As a result, the blessings and good wishes of relatives and well-wishers are most effective on that tithi. Hence, the birthday should be celebrated as per the tithi.

In according to Malayali Hindu families, birthday's are not celebrated using English calendar days, instead they celebrate it using birth star or Naalu or Nakshatra which differ from year to year, and as you have said that 60th birthday (Shashti Poorthi) is celebrated very grandly and is usually celebrated of a male, in which it is considered that he has completed his half of his life as of 120 years of estimated normal Human life, in the same way 70th is also celebrated which is termed as Sapthathi which is not celebrated that grandly as the 60th one.

According to traditional Vedic astrology it is advised that the birthday should be celebrated as per the Hindu lunar calendar. Astrology birthday as per Hindu calendar is 'tithi' based. According to wikipedia - In vedic timekeeping, a Tithi (also spelled thithi) is a lunar day, or the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the moon and the sun to increase by 12. Tithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 19 to approximately 26 hours. There are 30 tithis in each lunar month.

According to this article it is given as:

Significance of each day in Vedic Astrology Birthday Predictions.

  • Sunday Such individuals are very talkative and love facing challenges.
  • Monday- Honesty is a virtue they possess and are people with strong conviction.
  • Tuesday-Generally hot headed yet progressive, they are a bundle of energy.
  • Wednesday-These are people with high level of intelligence and great looks.
  • Thursday-Excellent time managers, they are generally calm and composed.
  • Friday-People who see the practical side of things and love the colour white.
  • Saturday-Generally thin and sensitive in nature. Significance of each tithi
  • So, what do Hindus should do on their Birthdays in Kalyuga? – Mr_Green Jan 15 '15 at 5:29
  • @Mr.Green I don't think this notion of celebrating birthdays differently depending on Yugas has any basis in Hindu scripture. In fact there isn't even a general birthday-celebrating procedure in Hinduism. There are certain rituals that you have to do when you're a certain age, and people tend to do those rituals on the day that they turn that age, but other than that there isn't something you need to do every year on your birthday. But the concept of birthdays certainly existed. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 15 '15 at 22:19
  • I think your image mentioning 'significance of each tithi for birthday' is quite speculative and not informational. It would be better if you removed it – user1993 Mar 14 '18 at 1:09
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How important is the birthday celebration in Hinduism?

Hindus from ancient times have celebrated birthday based on tithi calendar. Recently we have slid away from our tradition by following birth days based on english calendar. Tithi is the traversal of 12 degrees between the moon and the sun. We know for a fact that the sun and moon have a great influence on our mind, hence it is accurate to be reminded of our human birth at that time of the year when the sun and moon form the same angle again i.e. the same tithi. Also this Indian calendar is the only continuous calender of our civilizations. You may know that the Julian and Gregorian calendars are based on a king and a pope (Gregory). In the 17th century there was an abrupt shift of 10days when the western world moved to the Gregorian from the Julian calendar. Thus all the birthdays that are celebrated before 17th century are anyway incorrect. Take an example of Shivaji Maharaj who was born on Phalgun Krishna Paksha Trithiya is celebrated on 19th Feb 1630 which is incorrect even by english calendar. Research Reference: www.tifr.res.in/~vahia/shivaji.pdf Through the Indian calendar we can connect to our ancient civilization and traditions especially if you share your janmatithi with gods like Rama , Krishna or if it co-incides with hindu festival days.

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