No Early Birthday Wishes in Germany

The informant is the daughter of two German immigrants. She was born in Germany, spent time in France, and grew up in the US. She is a college student.

Informant: In Germany it’s a big no-no to say happy birthday to people early or celebrate early or anything. If you do that it’s supposed to like… give them a year of bad luck so we just…don’t do that. And if you do that to someone else they definitely won’t be happy.

Me: Ohh my god I definitely wished you a happy early birthday this year several times 

Informant: Haha it’s okay it doesn’t really matter. Oh also, for my birthday this year I wanted to come home the day before my birthday to see my parents and ‘cause they wanted to give me a gift too but they were like, “No that’s bad”. So I ended up driving home a few days after my birthday because they’d rather celebrate it late than early.

Context: This was told to me during a recorded in person conversation.