Originally Posted by Sailor
Are you sure it's a religious thing?
In my family, (I'm from Poland) we celebrate name days - not birthdays. The name day is the first Saint's day who shares your name after your birthday.
I think birthdays have gotten more popular in Poland now. But, in my family, we still stick to the name day tradition and avoid birthdays.
Yup, it's definitely a religious thing for them, and they don't celebrate name days instead. nor do they give gifts for Christmas. They don't have any gift-giving holidays AT ALL and they have so much less clutter than we do!
Also, they have a big problem with celebrating other people's birthdays, not just their own. A key reason to not use the public schools was the way they celebrate birthdays of all the kids in the class. If they celebrated their name days, they probably woudln't have a problem celebrating other kids' birthdays.
They came to visit the day after my birthday, and while I served them half a layer cake, I didn't specifically mention that it was my birthday cake! DD1 had written out "happy b-day mommy" in chocolate chips, not icing, and it was easy enough to fill in the top with more chocolate chips to make it look like there weren't any words there.
It does sound like there are a bunch of different religous sub-groups who don't celebrate birthdays, not just J's Witnesses.