This week, I turned 27. Want to know how I celebrated? I got a cholesterol test and physical for my German healthcare in the morning and then went diving in the evening. Rocking birthday right there!
I know it's not old by any means, but I still kind of feel like only yesterday I was turning 21. And to be honest, my life is dramatically different that I thought it would be 5 years ago. Heck, it's vastly different than I thought it would be last year at this time. And I'm ok with that. I'm happy and grateful to be where I am in life. And, bonus - it's my first birthday that I'm celebrating in Deutschland!
The Germans have some of their own unique traditions when it comes to der Geburtstag.
This is the biggest one. Never wish someone a happy birthday BEFORE their actual birthday. It's bad luck, kind of like not looking someone in the eye when you "Prost" (which is also bad luck).
You bring in your own birthday treat to work to share with colleagues. I made a marble pumpkin bread with a pumpkin I picked up at the Kurbismarkt on Saturday. It. Was. Awesome.
What treat you bring in is not the traditional birthday cake we know it in the US. Here, pretty much any thing qualifies as a birthday cake.
Their baked goods are not nearly as sickly sweet as in the US. Now, I love me some chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but it's kind of nice to not feel like you consumed your weight in sugar.
I have found that some like to celebrate their birthday the night before by going out for drink with friends...kind of like the tradition of going to the bar at midnight on your 21st in the US. I have been told it is good luck to go into your birthday by celebrating.
If you want to wish a German happy birthday, you would say the following:
Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag! or Alles gute zum Geburtstag!
Now you can impress your German friends with your vast knowledge of their birthday traditions! Don't say you never learned anything from reading this blog.
As for the diving, we went with another BASF employee in a local lake. Among the critters we saw: lots of little sunfish (or maybe blue gill?), little pike, big pike, a BIG catfish, a handful of freshwater crawfish, and two fresh water eels. Yea, I don't do saltwater eels. Or snakes. Suffice it to say, I could have done without seeing those last two.
This weekend is when we're going to really be celebrating my birthday. We are taking a party train to München for Oktoberfest! Can. Not. Wait. I may or may not be wearing a dirndl and Aaron may or may not be wearing lederhosen. Check back next week to hear all about it (and maybe see some pictures)!
Anyone else celebrate their birthday in the fall?
- Meghan -