I was recently invited to a party. And while
I was having fun, I began to think about all the things that make a party a party: Why
are all the cups red? And who invented barbecue, dancing, and birthday wishes? Here’s what
I found out! –Happy Birthday! Yeah you, from your pals
at Bright Side – for whenever your birthday is!
This time, it was my friend’s birthday. I was a little late and came at the very moment
they brought the cake out. It made me wonder: where did the tradition of celebrating birthdays
come from? It turns out that the first birthday party
was in Ancient Egypt in 3000 BC! Only the pharaohs and their heirs were allowed to celebrate
them. It was the same in Ancient Rome – only the kings and high-ranking officials got a
feast on their special day. The tradition to give gifts also came from here as a way
to earn their favor and trust. Ah look, little Julius is getting his toy chariot!
As for ordinary people, they wouldn’t be able to celebrate their birthday even if they wanted
to – no one wrote down the dates they were born on. They didn’t begin to register the
birth of each person until the 12th century, and even then, only the men in the family
could celebrate. The first woman who celebrated her birthday was Cleopatra!
In Germany, there’s a bizarre tradition for any single man over 30 to work on his
birthday. And by that I mean he has to sweep the steps of city council while his friends
throw garbage and stones at them. He can only celebrate his birthday if a woman passes by
and gives him a kiss. How long do you think that takes – all day? No thanks, I’ll
go with the traditional birthday spanking. –Make a wish
Oh, my friend is already blowing out the candles on the cake, and again, I wonder – what does
this mean, and who came up with blowing out the candles and making a wish? Well, back to Ancient Greece again. A special
pie was brought to the temple for the birthday of Artemis. The pie itself symbolized the
moon, and the candles – the light from it. In Ancient Persia, candles were used as an
expression of people’s feelings of warmth and sincerity toward the one celebrating their
birthday. In medieval Germany (when they began to consider
a birthday a celebration), people thought that the smoke from extinguished candles carried
the person’s desires up to the sky! And if you said your wish out loud, the candle
would lose its magical power. The Germans even believed in a special holiday gnome.
It’s something like Santa Clause, who brings people gifts for their birthday. And if you
set your gnome up on your stove, then you have a “gnome on the range”. Nah, I made
that up. But, the most interesting tradition was in
England. Coins and jewelry were put into the cake, which was then divided among all the
guests. This way, not only the birthday boy or girl gets gifts, but all who were invited.
In China, in addition to the cake, the birthday person is given a plate with long noodles.
They symbolize a long and happy life. –BBQ
My friend has already blown out the candles and is now calling all the guests to the backyard
for a BBQ. While everyone is having fun and eating meat, a question comes to my mind:
“How was the BBQ invented?”. No Ancient Greece, Rome or Egypt this time!
Of course, people have known how to grill meat since they invented fire, but it became
popular thanks to George Washington in the 18th century! And he learned to BBQ from African
Americans. “I went to Alexandria for a barbecue and stayed there all night,” reads one of
Washington’s diary entries. Only celebrities and rich people held BBQ parties, and later
this tradition became popular throughout America, especially in the Southern States. In 1909,
the first BBQ sauce hit the shelves in the United States. Before that, everyone just
had their own secret recipes for sauce. –Snacks
Everyone is having fun, drinking soda, and eating meat, but I’m not very hungry, so I
decide to grab some chips. And then curiosity distracts me from the fun again. How did people
even come up with the idea of making these thin potato slices? It turns out that the chips were cooked accidentally;
and what a happy accident! It was in August 1853. Chef George Crum brought his signature
dish to a rich client – french fries. However, the guest didn’t like how thick the potato
was cut. So, Chef Crum jokingly decided to cut the potatoes into paper thin slices and
then fry them. The client really liked the dish and the chef began to put a basket of
chips at each table. After that, the easy-to-cook appetizer spread throughout America and became
the most popular snack at parties. –Red cups
I pour myself a soft drink to sip on, and another question pops into my head! “Why are
these cups red?” In 1970, the American company “Solo Cup” first
released its iconic plastic red cups. They instantly became popular with young people:
they’re light, compact, and, most importantly, they don’t need to be washed. But why are
they red? Well first, so that you can easily find your
drink on the table – the red color stands out. Second, from a psychological point of
view, the red color calls for decisiveness and action! It’s as if the cup is saying:
“Hey, drink me! Time to relax and have fun!” Third, the red color also symbolizes love,
and this fits in perfectly with the festive atmosphere of the party. –Pinata
But right now, my mood isn’t festive, it’s exclusively scientific, because before my
eyes there is the most interesting ritual of the party – whacking the Pinata! This
is a lot of fun, but … Why? The exact origin of the pinata is unknown.
Pinata-like rituals have appeared in all corners of the planet. But it’s believed that it originated
from China, where the ancestors of the pinata were paper lanterns and dragons. But the pinata
got its name from the Italian word “pignatta”, which means “clay cone-shaped pot.” A long
time ago, residents of Spain, Italy, and Portugal broke clay pots filled with fruits. With this
ritual, they marked the end of the harvest season. But why is the pinata associated with
Mexico? It was there that it gained popularity and became one of the most iconic traditions
of every birthday party. Not a single one takes place without the pinata. But it didn’t
appear in this country until the 16th century, when the Spanish came to Mexico. –Dance
And while I figure it all out, friends are dragging me to the dance floor! “Wait, I’m
not very good at…” but it’s too late – I’m already here. I pretend to dance, but I’m
actually watching those dancing around me, wondering where it all came from. A very long time ago, people didn’t dance
because it was fun, but to conduct pagan rites. They even took dance movements from animals!
Later, more structured dances came in the form of the waltz, tango, and other ballroom
styles. But letting go on the dance floor like we do at parties began in the 50s, when
the era of rock and roll came to life! This type of dancing made a real revolution in
society! Many considered it indecent, but from it, dozens of other modern types of dance
Oh, I didn’t notice the dance floor emptying out. And why is everyone going out into the
yard? Ah, fireworks! What a beautiful sight! I don’t want to miss it – tell you about it
when I get back! Okay okay, I’m joking. The first fireworks, if you can call them
that, appeared in China and looked like this: a bamboo stick was thrown into the fire and
… that’s it. Bamboo banged loudly and it was believed that this scared away evil ghosts.
Then, according to legend, one guy mixed some specific components and came up with an early
prototype of explosive powder. He put it in a bamboo stick and again threw it into a bonfire.
Now the bang was even louder, sparks flew out of the fire, and evil ghosts were even
more afraid. The Chinese realized this was a great way
to scare away not only ghosts, but also enemies. The powder was put in paper tubes and eventually
attached to arrows. Later, these arrows were used for navigation.
The makeshift “rockets” were launched into the night sky to illuminate the road.
And voila, there’s the first firework! Later, it became popular in Europe and they began
to use it on holidays. Well, that’s it, I got to the bottom of
everything that I was curious about. I’d say it’s about time I have some fun. Wait, where
is everyone? Well, it seems like the party is over. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other cool videos
I think you’ll enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay on the Bright Side of life!