Early on in your life, there is great anticipation and excitement that goes along with getting older. If you’ve ever been around a child with an upcoming birthday, you know the innate sense of joy and wonder I am referring to.
Ten means you’re finally in the double digits.
Thirteen means you’re finally a teenager.
Sixteen means you’re finally able to drive.
Eighteen means you’re finally an adult.
Twenty-one means you’re finally able to have a drink...
Can you remember a sense of pleasure as you approached one of these milestone birthdays?
But typically somewhere after your thirties, the idea of another birthday coming and going may seem a little less whimsical, and a little more daunting.
Countries around the world have a high value for the elderly, and what better way to show honor than with a celebration?
1 | Hwan-gap & kohCui | Korea
In Korean culture, a 60th birthday is directly related to the60-year calendar cycle of the lunar calendar. It is thought of and celebrated as a mile marker for completion, and a send off into the next 60-year cycle. Children honor their parent’s passage into old age with an upbeat celebration and wish for an even longer and more prosperous life. Additionally, when one turns 70, another celebration is held called kohCui, meaning old and rare. Similar in exuberant styling, this day continues to wish the one aging more prosperity and honor.
2 | International Day of Older Persons | Established by the UN in 1990
On December 14, 1990, the United Nations voted that October 1 is honored and observed as International Day of Older Persons. It has remained an international holiday since its first formal celebration on October 1, 1991. The United Nations has promised to, “take a stand against ageism by drawing attention to and challenging negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and ageing.”
This year, the 2017 theme will explore effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older persons in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.
3 | A Commemorative Silver Sake Cup for Centenarians | Japan
In Japan, upon a Japanese citizen’s 100th birthday, a commemorative silver sake cup is given by the Prime Minister as a token of gratitude and honor. Reaching the century mark is not uncommon in Japan. In fact, there were so many centenarians who merited this gift, the government recently had to reduce the size of the silver sake cup in order to stay out of debt. In America, you can often reach out to the office of your State Governor or the President of the United States for a personalized greeting.
4 | “Life-Long Noodles” | China
Traditionally, birthdays don’t warrant much attention in China until the person reaches the age of 60! Reaching 60 is seen as an accomplishment worth celebrating, and most Chinese people live much longer than that. The 60th birthday is matched with a big celebration, and the celebrating continues every decade (70 years, 80 years, 90 years, etc.) until the person’s death. The older the person is, the bigger the celebration.
Often times it is the adult children’s responsibility to coordinate the festivities. On the birthday morning, the celebrant will be served a bowl of long “life-long noodles”. Long noodles are symbolic of a long and prosperous life. The longer the noodle, the better!
5 | Older Americans Month | America
Each May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation’s celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). The 2017 theme, Age Out Loud, is hoping to give aging a new voice–one of vibrancy and hope. Elderly Americans are working, playing, engaging, and living longer, and this “Age Out Loud” theme reflects this progressive change! Older Americans Month is a celebration of elderly citizens to show respect, but also to engage in the new ideas Older Americans have to bring to the table!
How Old Are You?
Life isn’t an hourglass glued to the table with excitement on one side and digression on the other; it’s a cycle. And a big cycle at that, full of endless adventures and opportunities! We’re each on our own journey, and it does not matter how many candles are on our cake.
Our opportunity to respect and celebrate the elderly in our midst has taken the form of creating superior senior living communities. At Weatherly Inn, our mission is to preserve dignity and give respect to seniors and their families by providing exceptional quality in all aspects of our communities – from compassionate care, engaging activities, delicious food, clean surroundings, to quality furnishings.
Life is worth celebrating, and we take great pride in our opportunity to celebrate by providing a space our residents are proud to call home. And we don’t plan to stop celebrating anytime soon!
To join the celebration, please visit us at https://www.weatherlyinn.com/