Golden Birthday

by john on September 7, 2005

At dinner tonight I related a story about my golden birthday and the other people at the table (from Chicago, Kansas City and Boston) had no idea what I was talking about. Is it a Minnesota thing? Google doesn’t really help in defining an origin, although the “top search result”: aligns with what my understanding of a golden birthday is:


A golden birthday is one in which the day’s date coincides with the age of the person. For example, if a person’s birthday is on May 15, their golden birthday occurs when they turn 15.

Chicago Tribune. 9 July 1978, s11, p1.

As it happens my golden birthday was also when I turned 15. My story involved me thinking I was going to get a special gift on my golden birthday, because that is what one gets on his golden birthday, unless of course his parents didn’t know what a golden birthday was either.

Did you celebrate yours?


RKB September 15, 2005 at 2:15 am

John, I grew up in Seattle before moving to the Midwest, and I’m pretty sure I knew about the Golden Birthday before then. My Golden B-Day offered all kinds of harmonic convergence: it was my 30th, right at the tail end of millenium. And we most definitely celebrated.

Es was six years old when she hit hers, and although I don’t know that she’ll remember it in years to come, she was VERY excited when it happened.

NMW October 26, 2005 at 10:41 am

John, I grew up in the Chicagoland area and I’ve known about Golden Birthdays as well as Sweetest Day for quite some time. I recently moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana (pre Katrina) and it seems to me that they are clueless here. They seem to celebrate everything here, but not Golden Birthdays or Sweetest Day.

Martha February 22, 2006 at 12:35 am

TODAY IS MY GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! I am 22 and it is the 22nd!!!! I heard about the golden rule many years ago – though my family never really paid to much attention to it. However, I dont live wiht my family, so tonite – we party! =)

Jeanne March 16, 2006 at 9:01 am

My Golden Birthday is this year in Sept on the 29 I will be of course 29. The one thing I wanted before I was 30 was to travel to Europe. Well in perfect timing my best friend will be getting married in Sept in Germany! I will be there for that and my Golden Birthday. I can’t wait we are going to party like crazy.

Jen May 17, 2006 at 10:23 am

I have lived in several states through growing up to now, but only learned about golden birthdays a few years ago from a friend. As it turns out, I did have a party on my golden birthday when I turned 9.

Since I learned about it, though, I have started a personal tradition of throwing monsterous bashes for close friends and relatives when theirs comes u I was inspired by the book “The Eleventh Hour” by Graeme Base.

A couple years back I threw a party for my best friend when she turned 26. I had 26 guest, 26 games, 26 condiments for baked potatoes, gave her 26 gifts, and created various posters for the hall with lists of 26 people who shared her birthday, 26 products involving the number 26, 26 historical events on her birthday, 26 famous people with her name, etc. etc.

This year my husband turns 29 on August 29. I’m throwing a similar party with one additional nod to 29. So far I’ve collected over 20 of his 29 gifts and have managed to make ALL of them related to 29 somehow. And they’re not just gag gifts, they’re all useful or at least very interesting.

It’s possible I’ve taken this tradition a little too far, but it sure is a heck of a lot of fun to do.

Maccer November 2, 2006 at 10:33 am

Unfortunely, my golden birthday had unknownly occured back in 1988, when i was 4 years old :(,

its a sad fact BUT i suppose the first time I did actually have a birthday party was when i was 4. I suppose that did conpensate after all!!!.

I think the idea of golden birthdays can give a bad draw for anyone born in the first week or so of a month.

bouchatm August 22, 2007 at 10:38 am

I’m from Chicago and golden birthday’s are celebrated by many in the area. My golden birthday is one of three childhood birthdays that stand out as I age and look back.

What about the people who have very early golden birthdays? Maybe stocks that they can appreciate (no pun intended) later in life as they won’t remember their golden birthdays even if it was celebrated.

Dona October 4, 2008 at 1:19 pm

I’m getting ready to do a post about golden birthdays, and your post came up in google. I wanted to check to see if anyone else knew about this — it seems they do. I grew up in the Chicago area and I remember mine well — I was 23.

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