||An unbirthday refers to the celebration of the 364 days of the year when it is not your birthday. But as stated at the Urban Dictionary: “Statistics prove that you have one birthday, just one birthday every year. But there are three hundred and sixty-four unbirthdays. And this is a reason to gather and cheer.”
While the celebration of unbirthdays has not caught on as much as birthdays (Could it be that celebrating 364 unbirthdays with cake and presents might be just a bit too expensive?), unbirthdays are celebrated by many around the world. Phylameana lila Desy at
About.com recommends altruistic, spontaneous gift giving as a way to make yourself and others feel good. She stresses that an unbirthday gift is special because it is not given on a person's birthday (when convention demands it) and so it does not have to be perfect. It can even be a recycled gift or just a bouquet of flowers.
First described by Lewis Carroll in Alice Through the Looking Glass, unbirthdays entered pop culture through Disney's animated adapatation of the book. In the film, the lyrics of the unbirthday song are partly as follows:
A very merry unbirthday
A very merry unbirthday
Let's all congratulate us with another cup of tea
A very merry unbirthday to me
Now blow the candle out, my dear
And make your wish come true
A very merry unbirthday to you
Wikipedia.org describes an unbirthday as being a "geek holiday," which is to say a holiday that is mainly celebrated by geeks. Usually, they revolve around some sort of mathematical joke or pun; a few have grown out of inclusion in a fictional work, particularly an online comic.
To some extent, Leap Year babies usually celebrate an unbirthday because their real birthday only falls on the correct date (February 29) once in four years. Other people who technically celebrate unbirthdays are people who do not know the exact date of their birth, or, more frequently, people who have moved across the international date line. In those cases, they may appear to celebrate their birthday according to the calendar date in effect where they are, but where they were born, it is the day before or after their birthday. An example of this would be a person who is born in California, but travels to Thailand for their birthday. In that case, they would "lose" a day, meaning that when their birthday comes in Thailand, it is already the day after their actual birthday as measured from the place of their birth in California.
Though not usually referred to as an unbirthday, many holidays celebrating the birth of famous people, religious figures, and heads of state are not technically held on their birthday. For example, the King or Queen of England's Official Birthday in Australia, Canada, Fiji, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom is not held on their actual birthday.
Many Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians celebrate a 'name day'/'Saint's day'. This is celebrated in much the same way as a birthday, but is held on the official day of a saint with the same Christian name as the birthday boy/girl.
In elementary school, a half-birthday (half way during the year) or unbirthday is sometimes celebrated for those whose birthdays do not fall on a school day (especially for birthdays falling during holiday and vacation periods).