Superstition – Chinese


“Eat long noodles on birthdays for longevity.”

I learned this Chinese birthday tradition when I was younger, in the 90s.  When I was younger, my grandmother would always cook dinner on my dad’s birthday.  The main dish was always noodles – long Chinese noodles.  My grandmother says that there should always be long noodles for dinner on someone’s birthday because long noodles are a symbol of longevity.  The birthday person should always eat the noodles in hopes of a long life, while everybody else eats the noodles to wish the birthday person a long life.

Long noodles symbolize a long life because of the length of the noodle.  The noodle represents one’s life.  This superstitious belief that eating long noodles on one’s birthday will give one a long lift is what Frazer would describe as contagious magic because in order to ensure a long life, one must actually eat the long noodles.  The long life cannot be accomplished by just simply having noodles present at the dinner.  The eating of the noodles serve as a transfer of power; by making physical contact with the noodle through ingestion, the longevity of the long noodles is transferred directly into one’s body.