In past centuries, people did not often celebrate birthdays, as birth records were not well kept and many people weren’t even sure what year they were born. In pagan culture, it was believed evil spirits visited people on their birthdays. To protect the birthday person from evil, people used to surround them and make merry, creating noise to scare off the evil spirits. In those times, there was no tradition of bringing gifts, and guests attending the birthday spiritward­ing would instead bring good wishes for the birthday celebrant.

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