Friday, November 12, 2010


Guess what!  It's my birthday today, and I am EIGHT YEARS OLD!  I am happy to be EIGHT because this means I am halfway to being old enough to drive.  Except that Mom says my legs will never be long enough to reach the pedals, which is kind of a bummer.  But maybe I can get a car with extra-long pedals or something.  Anyway, I have another 8 years to figure something out.

So since it's my birthday, I thought I would tell you the history of birthday celebrations.  And it all began back many thousands of years ago, when people first started figuring out how to make a calendar and keep track of important dates.  Because before that, no one really knew when their birthday was, except for maybe knowing that it was in the spring or the fall or something like that.  So a lot of times, people didn't even know how old they were.  And in fact, in some places in the world, this is still true.  Or at least it's true that children don't have birth certificates, so they can't prove how old they are or what country they were born in or even that they really exist.

Anyway, when people started celebrating birthdays, it was mostly the birthdays of important people like kings that were celebrated.  The common people didn't celebrate their birthdays because they were too busy plowing their fields or making shoes or whatever job they did.

Then when people really did start having birthday parties, it was because they wanted to protect the birthday person from harm.  And this was because they believed that when a person had a change in his life, such as turning a year older, evil spirits might come around and try to hurt that person.  So all the person's friends came and brought good wishes and gifts, and they also used noisemakers to scare away the evil spirits.

And the reason people eat cake on their birthday might be because back in Ancient Greece, people used to take round or moon-shaped cakes to the temple of Artemis, who was the Goddess of the Moon.  But some historians think that birthday cakes really got started in Germany, where people used to make bread in the shape of Jesus's swaddling cloth.

The candles on the cake are supposed to send prayers to the gods, because people believed that the gods lived in the sky.  So that's why you make a wish when you blow them out, and the smoke goes up and carries your wish to heaven.  Or else it maybe sets off the smoke detector, if you have a whole lot of candles.

So that is the history of birthdays.  And now here are some famous people who were born on my birthday:

1980 -- Ryan Gosling, who's a very good actor, and very cute, too
1968 -- Sammy Sosa, who plays ball for the Chicago Cubs
1945 -- Neil Young, who sings and writes songs for Crosby, Sills, and Young
1934 -- Charles Manson, who is a very bad man!
1928 -- Grace Kelly, an actress who ended up being Princess of Monaco
1908 -- Harry A. Blackmun, who was a Supreme Court justice
1840 -- Auguste Rodin, a famous French sculptor
1748 -- Carlos IV, who was King of Spain from 1788 until 1808

There were lots of other people born on my birthday, but I didn't know who a lot of them were, and Mom didn't know either, so we just made a list of a few of the most interesting ones.

I'm not sure how we're going to celebrate my birthday, but Mom said something about maybe some scrambled eggs or something.  Yum!  Yum!  Yum!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIPER!! This is Dodi making comments tonight. My mom isn't feeling well, so she said I could make the comments. :) My mom thinks it's GREAT you have a birthday in November. I think it's because her dad's birthday fell on 11/14, and my mom LOVED her "daddy."

    I found all the info on how birthdays got started very interesting, as did Di & my mom. I also think it's really neat the interesting topics you find to write about - I bet your mom is very impressed too. Humans just aren't as inquisitive as us animals - but I won't tell my mom I wrote that.

    Have a great birthday and I hope you did get scrambled egg(s)!! Oh mom and Di said Happy Birthday Piper!
    Love, Dodi

  2. We wish you a very Happy Birthday, Piper. Eggies is good, you can't go wrong with that for your birthday. We hope you have many, many more good birthdays!

  3. Dear Dodi,
    I am sorry your mom isn't feeling good, but I'm glad you were able to write a comment anyway. I got a scrambled egg for supper and it was SUPER YUMMY! So that made my birthday happy even in spite of the fact that the weather has been yucky and rainy all day.

    You should be careful about being too inquisitive because they say that "curiosity killed the cat," and I wouldn't want anything to happen to you or Di because you're my friends.

    Tell your Mom to feel better!

    Love, Piper

  4. Dear 3 Amigos,
    Thanks for the birthday wishes. I like getting wishes, and I also like eating eggies!
    Your friend, Piper

  5. Happy Birthday Piper - one day late - sorry.
    Your fan, Grace