Birthday Traditions


Have you ever wondered why we celebrate birthdays every year? Why do we eat cake every year? Why do we blow out the birthday candles and make a wish? What about surprise parties--when did jumping out and scaring a friend or loved one come into fashion? And, how did it come about that people give each other presents and flowers on their birthday?

Like many other modern-day holidays, many of the customs associated with birthdays have a very long history and traditions can be traced back to the Greek and Roman times.

The acts of giving flowers and gifts on someone’s birthday is a way to show how much you care about someone. Although many think that when it comes to sending birthday flowers, the act is reserved for romantic love, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sending birthday flowers to family members and friends is a great way to show how much you care.

There are also symbolic birthday flowers by month. For example, In November, the birth flower is Chrysanthemums, which also signifies compassion, friendship and joy. Similar to the way it has long been a popular custom to give birthstone jewelry for someone’s birthday, giving someone their birth flower is a tradition steeped in history and tradition.

Although this is a popular tradition, nowadays, people send all kinds of different flowers for birthdays, including roses, orchids, mixed bouquets, and more. A fresh way to send flowers on someone’s birthday is to send a flower subscription.  This way, the recipient receives regular flowers that will serve as a constant reminder of the sender’s feelings. 

Birthday Traditions

Similar to the way birthstones represent a person’s birth month and each have an assigned meaning, so do specific flower varieties. In the United States and UK, giving flowers of the month was especially popular during Victorian times.

  • January - Carnation - represents love and distinction. Carnations are available in a wide array of colors. The are very hardy and a popular flower to use in flower arrangements-- they are also a favorite to use in corsages.
  • February - Violet - Although many of us only associate red roses with February the official birth flower is a Violet. This beautiful flower represents hope and wisdom.
  • March - Daffodil - A true symbol of the beautiful season of Spring a daffodil represents rebirth as well as new beginnings.
  • April - Daisy - Signifying purity and youth the daisy is one of the most versatile flowers and always looks beautiful and fresh both on its own as well as in arrangements.
  • May - Lily of the Valley - May’s flower is the beautiful and sweet lily of the valley. Always a popular choice of Mothers around the world it can be called the official flower of the month that this holiday falls in each year.
  • June - Rose - Roses are a popular choice for every occasion and are the official birth flower for the month of June. The meaning of roses greatly differs from one color to the next. They represent all kinds of love and sweetness.
  • July - Larkspur - A Larkspur represents strong bonds of adoration and friendship. It is also said to convey a feeling of lightness. Each color has a different meaning.
  • August - Gladiolus - This elegant character represents moral integrity and honor and can also be used to convey remembrance or sympathy.
  • September - Aster - Aster is the official birth flower of September. This dignified flower can represent patience and daintiness and is often used to signify deep emotions.
  • October - Marigold - Marigold is the official birth flower of the Autumn month of October. A perfect flower for Fall the Marigold is also an excellent flower to plant in vegetable gardens. It is a natural repellant of garden insects.
  • November - Chrysanthemum - The Chrysanthemum signifies compassion and friendship. It flourishes in the Fall months and is a universal symbol of Autumn.
  • December - Poinsettia - The bold beauty of the Poinsettia is a constant emblem of Christmas and the holiday season. This beautiful flower in addition to being the official birth flower of December is also an essential staple in Winter decor.

Like many modern-day holidays and celebrations, the idea of celebrating the date someone is born is actually a Pagan tradition. Believe it or not, the Pagan association was a bit dark--they believed that evil spirits lurked on days of major changes, like the annual anniversary of the day someone’s birth. Similar to the way the Pagans associated birthdays with spirits, the Greeks also associated the day with spirits. Their beliefs revolved around the belief that each person had a specific spirit that kept watch over a person’s birth. These associations actually helped shape certain birthday celebration customs that are still around today. For example, the reason why people blow out candles on their birthday stems back to the significance of warding off the dark with the light.

Flowers for Birthdays

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Birthday Activities

Here are some fun ideas for birthday celebrations

Did you know that the contemporary understanding of birthday parties was born as recently as the 18th century in Germany?

give a gift
  • BBQ

The best way to get the perfect gift is to have the professionals curate a selection for you!

Here at Blooms,Box, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best blooms in beautiful bouquets from our farm partners (who are all Rainforest Alliance certified and sustainable). Let us build a very special custom bouquet for you every month that your spouse will love! We promise it will always be unique and one-of-a-kind - and also that you'll enjoy it, guaranteed.

Our bouquets feature hand-tied arrangements that typically focus on a single type of flower that inspires us for the month. It arrives thoughtfully arranged with greenery that highlights the beauty of the featured flower and is designed to last in a vase for weeks.

For another gift idea, why not send her a bouquet that reminds you of your special day? BloomsyBox offers many one-of-a-kind flowers that she may have picked for your wedding, or even the colors of the wedding brought to life in a stunning arrangement. To see our single-stem bouquets, click here.

Birthday Gifts People Love

Everyone loves birthday flowers!

Everyone--man, woman, or child--loves to receive fresh flowers! Flowers not only immediately perk up any space, but lend an air of elegance to any room. Their natural beauty inspires us.

Although giving birth flowers is still popular, people choose to send flowers of all kinds--including roses, orchids, and mixed bouquets. A popular option many people are choosing that makes a great gift is that of a flower subscription box. This is a flower gift that keeps on giving and always a reminder of the giver and how he or she truly feels about the recipient. 

Give a Gift

For an extra special gift, Martha Stewart has curated a monthly collection of her favorite roses in stunning, unique colors that you won't easily find anywhere else. She handpicked a rose for every month of the year, so why not let the style maven herself style a beautiful collection for your special someone for the whole year?

Birthday Celebrations

When it comes to parties, celebrating birthdays with a gathering of friends and family is a tradition can be traced all the way back to Egyptian times.

Another celebratory birthday custom--that of the birthday cake--is far more recent. Its roots can be traced around 200 or so years ago during the Industrial Revolution. With the release of machines that could make cakes for the masses--instead of cakes only being hand-made--birthday cakes were able to distributed en masse. Giving birthday cakes to children can be attributed to the Germans, where events called Kinderfests were held.

In addition to giving flower gifts--like flower subscriptions--on birthdays, flowers often play a role in these festive birthday parties. Whether they serve as a centerpiece on the birthday table or brighten up the rest of the home, flowers always brighten any space or mood!

  • The tradition of giving presents and flowers to the birthday boy or girl can be traced to spiritual beliefs.
  • Said to ward off evil spirits presents and flowers were bestowed in both Greek and Roman cultures.
  • Of course now in many cultures around the world the custom of giving birthday presents is a mainstay.
  • Popular gifts with children include toys and clothes.
  • For adults popular gift choices include jewelry and books.
  • But the tradition of giving birthday flowers goes back millenia.

Wondering what sort of flower birthday gift to give?

give a gift
If you are wondering what types of flowers are best to give on a birthday, there are an endless array of choices! A flower subscription is a really thoughtful gift--sending a flower surprise to the recipient's door every month will remind them how much you care! There are also many great flower bouquets and plants you can send--such as orchids, sunflowers and more. Nothing will put a smile on their face faster than receiving lovely fresh flowers!

Make someone's special day!

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