How great people celebrate their birthday

This is how we celebrate a birthday

Pirate party, trampoline birthday, bowling together or just a classic children's birthday with games and lots of sweets - Elena, Leonie, Julian and Adrian tell how children and young people in Germany celebrate birthdays.

Elena, 8 years

  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • I celebrated my birthday in a hall with trampolines. That was great. We were allowed to take turns jumping on the trampolines. There was only one child on a trampoline at a time, so it's safer. Many of them were set up. What I liked best was that I was being spun through the air. The birthday child can jump very high on a long rope.

    © Andrea Gehwolf

    We also played different games. I invited 14 children. That was a little more than last year. After that we continued celebrating at home. I was allowed to open my presents, we ate cake and played. My mom made a marble cake and blueberry muffins. I wished that. I always look forward to the children and the great things that one can do on my birthday the most.

    What games do you like to play?

    Elena: Stop dance. So there you turn on music, then everyone dance and when the music stops, everyone has to stop and the one who moves is out.

    Leonie, 12 years

    I don't celebrate my birthday with lots of friends and a party anymore. I'd rather do something special with a friend. For example, spend the night together at the lake. I already did that last year. We went to Legoland together, it's an amusement park. That was very funny. But maybe I'll do some kind of disco for the next birthday. My younger sister already did that and I thought that was really cool. Then of course I would invite several, otherwise it's no fun.

    © Andrea Gehwolf

    At the age of 16, my cousin celebrated a real children's birthday again just like in the past, with games like hitting the pot and things like that. I could imagine that in a few years. Or I just go somewhere with friends where you can sit and talk. The best thing about birthdays used to be gifts. Today it's friends who are there and with whom you spend time. You experience something great together that you will remember.

    How did you celebrate your birthday earlier?

    Leonie: There was still a children's birthday party in elementary school. A lot of people came and then we celebrated. But not anymore. I'm also starting to feel too old for that. It's a bit too childish for me, so I'm doing something more calm now.

    Julian, shortly before his 15th birthday

  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • It's my birthday in five days. This year I'm going to laser tag with friends. It's a game in a hall where two teams compete against each other. There are obstacles and you mark each other with light. I've wanted to try this for a long time. It is not yet clear how many will come. We'll meet at my house beforehand, eat cake, chat and maybe play Playstation.

    © Andrea Gehwolf

    Then we drive together to the laser tag hall. My best birthday experience was two years ago when we went to Therme Erding. There were five of us and it was great fun. I would like to do that again. My friends celebrate their birthday very differently. Many go to bowling, to the cinema or to a trampoline hall. The older ones in my class also just go for a drink.

    Is it something special when you go bowling or to the cinema for your birthday? You can just do that.

    Julian: I think it's different from person to person how you celebrate it. In general, I don't think the birthday is the most important thing, but it's actually quite nice to meet up with friends and celebrate something. And bowling ... normally you don’t do it closed or something, but alone with the family ... not so much with friends.

    Adrian, 18 years

  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • © Andrea Gehwolf
  • I celebrated my 18th birthday in a small group. Many of my friends have had big parties with over 50 people. Sometimes they have rented extra rooms for this. One even had a DJ once. I'm not that big of a party fan. It's too exhausting for me to organize something like that. On my birthday, I went to the clubs with five friends. We met at my place beforehand and then left around 10 p.m. At 5 a.m. I was back home. It was something special for me, even if you usually go out.

    © Andrea Gehwolf

    I'm usually not away that long and I got presents too. When I was little, my parents used to have classic children's birthdays with mottos, small gifts, meals, competitive games and so on. I was very happy with my parents' children's parties. These celebrations lasted until about 10 or 11 years. After that you are just interested in other things.

    Do you always celebrate with the same group of friends?

    Adrian: So it has already changed. I usually have the same group of my sports and school friends. But you also get to know people very often, especially on the Eisbach, and with them you sometimes celebrate.

    Andrea Gehwolf
    works as a freelance writer in Munich.