Friday, February 5, 2010

Traditions From Around The World For 100 Year Olds


  • In the United States, centenarians traditionally receive a letter from the president upon reaching their 100th birthday, congratulating them for their longevity. NBC's The Today Show has also named them on air since 1983.
  • In the UK and the the Queen sends greetings on the 100th birthday and on every birthday starting with the 105th.
  • Centenarians born in Irelan receive a €2,540 "Centenarians' Bounty" and a letter from the President of Ireland, even if they are living abroad.
  • Japanese centenarians receive a silver cup and a certificate from the Prime Minister of Japan upon their 100th birthday, honouring them for their longevity and prosperity in their lives. In Japan, September 15 is "National Respect for the Aged Day"
  • Among Hindus, people who touch the feet of elders are often blessed with "May you live a hundred years".
  • In Sweden, the traditional birthday song states, May he/she live for one hundred years.
  • In Israel, the term May you live to be 120 years old is used for blessing someone.
  • Chinese emperors were hailed to live ten thousand years.
  • In Italy, "A hundred of these days!" (cento di questi giorni) is an augury for birthdays, to live to celebrate 100 more birthdays. Some Italians say "Cent'anni!" which means "a hundred years," in that they wish that they could all live happily for a hundred years, centenarians born in Italy receive a letter from the President of Italy.
  • In Greece, when wishing someone Happy Birthday, they will end the birthday wishes with the expression "na ta ekatostisis" which literally means "hundred them" but can be loosely translated as "may you make it one hundred birthdays".

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