Birthday Cake for Breakfast


“My family has a tradition where on everyone’s birthday, we eat cake for breakfast. The idea is that if you wake up on your birthday and go about your day without eating cake, you could get hit by a bus and you wouldn’t have eaten cake on your birthday. Then, you eat the cake for breakfast every day until it’s finished”

“Does anyone else you know follow the same tradition?”

“There are a few families that do. I remember when I was a kid I thought everyone did it, but later realized it was more of a special tradition to my family.”


My informant is a classmate of mine, who says her family has been doing this tradition for as long as she can remember for each member of her family. She says the tradition adds a humorous and fun start to the day, and that her family likes it because it begins the birthday celebrations immediately at the start of your day. Additionally, because it is more of a rare tradition, she added that eating cake on her birthday makes the celebration feel more personalized to her family. 


My informant’s tradition of eating cake for breakfast on your birthday highlights a humorous point of view to life’s unpredictability. The tradition seems to be based on the recognition that your health and family are not guaranteed in life, and places high importance on celebrating moments of joy when they are available, instead of taking them for granted. Additionally, the part of the tradition where their family continues to eat cake for breakfast until it is finished, extends the celebration of the person beyond just one day, emphasizing the appreciation of the person and the celebration of birthdays itself. The tradition not only strengthens bonds within the family, but ensures the wisdom of not taking life’s moments for granted is playfully passed down.