Birthdays are a funny thing in life, which at times you are thrilled to celebrate, and then there are those which you shudder to think of. As a close-knit family, I imagine that the rituals and traditions haven’t changed much from generation to generation. When we were kids, that was the best day of the year, and the one with the most privileges….there was no scolding on birthdays, and just about anything you wanted to do, or get away with, was allowed.
Your birthday was always centered around a birthday cake with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and of course, your own parents as well as pets and close friends. As children grew, they always felt they had the right to join in the elderly who couldn’t quite blow out 80 candles to “Help” blow them out. Nowadays kids’ birthday parties are quite an extravaganza ranging from pool parties to private restaurant parties with a theme, etc.
I think you can safely say that once you’ve passed your 40th birthday….Uh-oh: four-o!!! , you’re safely over the hill and in a zone where you can almost care less if you ever heard that word “Birthday” again.
In Italy, a child’s “onomastico” or name day is more important than his /her birthday as all Italian children are named for Saint’s and when it is that Saint’s birthday, that is the most celebrated of days. My “onomastico” for example is on July 21 as that is the day of the Santissima Madonna (Maria) della Civita. In our old neighborhood of Knightsville where most people are from a small town named Itri in Italy, this saint was the patron saint and there is a big feast with food, music and fireworks both in Itri and in Knightsville commemorating all those named Maria.
The statue of the saint is paraded through the streets while the faithful follow the procession saying prayers in homage to their patron.
Growing up, I usually sat straddled on the shoulders of my dad so I could see the Madonna making her way through the streets of Knights Ville and I remember my dad saying: “This is for YOU. This is ALL for YOU!!!”
As I approach yet another decade in 2 weeks, I have decided to invite my friends and family to my home to enjoy a wonderful meal and share in the memories we have created together in my life. On my onomastico this July 21st I will walk again in the procession behind the Madonna and remember my most important day.
Happy Birthday to all my Pisces friends in March and Buon Onomastico (Happy Name Day) to all those who are named Joseph who will enjoy the Lenten pastries called “zeppole” on March 19th, their name day.
THASC Sales Co., established in 1977, will be 40 years young in just 2 years !
Thank you for the years of pleasure you have brought into our lives.
Let me hear about your birthday celebrations!
See you Thursday,