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How Do Italians Celebrate Birthdays? [Complete Info]

    How Are Birthdays Celebrated In Italy

    In this article, we’ll tell you how are birthdays celebrated in Italy. Celebration of birthday is a tradition which is followed across all cultures, and each has its own unique way to celebrate it. In certain cultures, a certain birthday represents a particular milestone in individual life; for instance, Americans celebrate the sweet sixteen, whereas, in Jews, there is a bar mitzvah. But certain elements of celebration are common across cultures. Italy is a beautiful place to have a party.

    How Are Birthdays Celebrated In Italy?

    In this section, we will be learning how are birthdays celebrated in Italy and their traditions to gain a perspective view of their celebration. The section is bifurcated for better understanding.


    In most of the western world, friends and family chip in for the party and dinner, but in Italy, the birthday boy or the girl pays for the party. If they invite the party, the guests expect that the host will pay for the party. Dinning in a restaurant can be an expensive affair, so they prefer to host a party in their home and cook for their guests. Surprises rarely occur on an Italian birthday.


    As the birthday boy or girl is hosting the party, the guests expect to bring gifts for the host. These gifts represent an appreciation of the guests and act as an offset for the expense of the celebration for a bit. So, it is customary when you are invited to an Italian birthday party you should go with presents for the birthday boy or girl. The host expects the gifts to be wrapped beautifully with colorful paper as well as ribbons. The gifts and presents brought to the party will be opened in front of all the guests, opening the gifts alone and when everybody has left is considered as a rude gesture.

    Birthday Cake

    There is not specifically customized Italian cake used to celebrate a birthday. But there is one thing certain that the one who is celebrating the birthday will either bake the cake or purchasing it from a cake shop. It can be a personalized cake, but it is a simple cake with the birthday boy or girl’s name written on the cake with frosting. One plus point is that the birthday boy is able to choose the flavor and type of cake and treat their friends.

    If it is a small get-together type of party, you can expect the host to be baking the cake and serving it to their guests. But if it is a milestone party and the number of guests invited is many, then the host will opt for a cake from a cake shop. But the problem is that it will not be customized as per the birthday boy or girl requirement, and they will have to select from pre-made cakes.

    Turning 18

    The celebrant if wishes to throw a huge party it will probably be when they turn 18. It is pivotal in Italian tradition when compared to other western countries’ birthday milestones. During the birthday singing the happy birthday song is a tradition that Italians have adopted from other western countries. Still, the song is in the native language, which goes like this “Tanti Auguri a te, Tanti Auguri a te (name of the host)! In Italian, Tanti Auguri means best wishes.

    These are the traditions how are birthdays celebrated in Italy, which are not that different from the traditions followed in different countries barring one or two. In an Italian celebration, there is a lot of music and dancing, which makes the celebration all the more enjoyable for the guests attending the party, and everyone shouts Buon Compleanno (Happy Birthday) for the celebrant.