Tips for Celebrating a Chinese-Style Birthday

Western-style birthday celebrations with neatly wrapped gifts, colorful balloons, and sweet cakes with candles are becoming more popular in China, Hong Kong, Macau, ​and Taiwan. However, Chinese culture has some distinct Chinese birthday customs.

Traditional Chinese Birthday Customs

Senior Man Portrait in Houhai
Shannon Fagan/Taxi/Getty Images

While some families opt to celebrate a person’s birthday annually, the more traditional approach is to start celebrating when a person turns 60.

Another time to host a celebratory party is when a child turns one month old. The parents of the child host a red egg and ginger party.

Traditional Chinese Birthday Food

Al elderly woman making longevity noodles
Getty Images

It is becoming more popular to celebrate each birthday with a small celebration with family and friends that may include a home cooked meal, cake, and presents. Some parents may host a Chinese birthday party for their children which includes party games, food, and cake. Teenagers and young adults may opt to go out to dinner with friends and may receive small gifts and a cake as well.

No matter if a birthday celebration is held or not, many Chinese will slurp one long longevity noodle for longevity and good luck.

During a red egg and ginger party, dyed red eggs are given out to guests.

Traditional Chinese Birthday Gifts

Chinese Birthday: Chinese Birthday Celebration
A student celebrates his 20th birthday at a temporary school located in a workshop of a local pharmaceutical factory on June 26, 2008 in Anxian County, Sichuan Province, China. Getty Images

While red envelopes stuffed with money are typically given at the red egg and ginger party and at Chinese birthday parties for people turning 60 and beyond, some Chinese opt to give a gift. Whether you choose to give a gift or not, learn how to wish your family and friends a happy birthday in Chinese.

Birthday Wishes:

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Mack, Lauren. "Tips for Celebrating a Chinese-Style Birthday." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Mack, Lauren. (2023, April 5). Tips for Celebrating a Chinese-Style Birthday. Retrieved from Mack, Lauren. "Tips for Celebrating a Chinese-Style Birthday." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).