Fun Fact About Birthday Tradition in Indonesia


Fun Fact About Birthday Tradition in Indonesia — Birthday is one of the most important things that should be celebrated, as it marks another year and another chapter of your life! In Indonesia, there are several customs and routines that you should do on your birthday.

Here is a sneak peek at how Indonesians celebrate birthdays! Do note that there’s no right or wrong in celebrating your birthday, the point is to have a memorable and happy day during this time.

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Picture by Josh Bean via Unsplash


When it’s your birthday, you tend to celebrate it with either your friends or family. Though your birthday celebration might come a little bit late if your birthday falls on a weekday, as people tend to be busy with work or school. Parents usually celebrate their child’s first birthday and sweet seventeen in some chain restaurants, hotels or cafés (depending on the budget). There are various games conducted by the MC before giving out goodie bags to everyone who was invited by the end of the celebration.


Gifts are also a part of a birthday celebration, in fact, it’s probably one of the most crucial things. While Indonesians tend to get gifts or presents for the birthday person, some families tend to give red packets instead of gifts. You’d want to wish the birthday person a happy and long life as red packets represents longevity and prosperity.


Birthday surprises are often part of the birthday celebration here in Indonesia. Most of the common ones are like throwing flour, eggs or carbonated drink at the birthday person. Though there are some more harmless like decorating their room with balloons or throwing a surprise party with a cake.

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Picture by Miss Yasmina via Wikimedia Commons


A birthday won’t be complete without a cake. After the end of the celebration, people tend to sing the Happy Birthday song, Selamat Ulang Tahun, to them before proceeding to sing Tiup Lilinnya which is a song that says blow out the candles. Once the candles have been blown off, it’s then proceeded with the cake cutting song, Potong Kuenya, as the birthday person cut their cake to share it with everyone. Though cakes are the easiest and staple at birthday parties, Nasi Tumpeng instead of a cake is also an option.


Other than birthday cakes served and eaten on your special day, there is some special food you have to eat during your birthday. Though mostly the food is chosen by the birthday boy or the parents if they’re not old enough to choose just yet. Those who are of Chinese descent in Indonesia, tend to have noodles on their birthday. That’s because eating noodles on your birthday is believed to make you live longer as noodles are long.

As Indonesia has a diverse culture and ethnicity, there is some culture that sticks to how they celebrate their special day. How do you usually celebrate your birthday? Do you have any routine to do during your birthday? If you’d like this article, make sure to share this post with your friends or on social media.

An escapist yet realistic, Yohana tends to keep her feet on the ground and head above the clouds. A culture enthusiast with impulsive tendencies when it comes to knowledge and food. She starts her writing journey during high school as a hobby at first, before it grows into passion and love.

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