Nowadays it is practically common throughout the world to give a birthday present, which harks back to ancient times before the emergence of monotheistic religions. Although for the first four centuries of our era Christianity considered this to be a pagan practice, today it is widespread throughout all the countries in the world.
An essential element is the birthday cake symbolising the age of the person and the origin of which is tied to many superstitions, including that of the fulfilment of wishes. The person celebrating their birthday cannot reveal their wish to anyone for fear of it not coming true and all the candles have to be blown out in one breath.
Christmas presents have to be opened either on Christmas Day morning or in the evening at the end of the celebration. Their origin can be traced back to the three wise men who brought presents to Jesus. Nowadays presents have become important within the family as a universal means of strengthening family ties and expressing one’s appreciation and love for others.
Apart from the wedding day itself, when numerous presents are given to the newlyweds, wedding anniversaries also mark an important occasion. The different anniversaries linked to the number of years of marriage have their origins in pagan practices but were gradually integrated into the religious idea of marriage over the course of the 19th century.
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