I’m giving a talk in a few weeks about birthdays as holidays and was wondering if anyone knew of some interesting books I could read to get some ideas from. The themes I will be touching upon are:
-Birthdays as an arbitrary marker of the passing of time in one’s life
-Birthdays/age as important in comming of age (ie, 18 yrs to vote/tried as adult, 21 to drink, 40 “over the hill”) and the arbitrariness thereof
-Birthdays as holidays of self-worship and self-affirmation
-The historical basis of celebrating birthdays and of the three previous points (how have other cultures celebrated birthdays, are there some that have not, what ages have other societies or our own used to mark adulthood and why).
Any help on this would be greatly appriciated. Also, if there is something else that you all might think is significant about birthday celebrations and the concept of marking off every 365 days of one’s life (roughly) with a party, I’d be interested in that too.