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Here are the top 10 most unusual ways we found to mark a birthday:


1) Smash cakes Millions of Americans have caught on to this latest craze in birthday fun. It sees extra birthday cake bought/baked so that children (although why should they have all the fun?) are encouraged to dive in and destroy it, making as much mess as possible.


2) Flour in the face Never assume it's just the Americans who can come up with a bizarre and messy birthday ritual. In Jamaica, the birthday boy/girl celebrates their special day by having flour thrown in their face by 'well-wishers'. Often, they will have water thrown in their face first to ensure that flour really sticks.

3) Drop the dead donkey The Mexican tradition of the birthday pinata has crossed the water and is now a feature of many a British child's birthday party. It involves filling a colourful model of a donkey with sweets, dangling it in the air, blindfolding the children and letting them hit it with a broom until the sweets fall out. Dangerous fun.

4) Life begins at 30 When they reach the age of 30, single men in Germany can often be found out sweeping the front steps of the town hall or local church. The idea is to show potential mates how good they are at housework. They're not supposed to leave the steps until they have been kissed by a woman

5) Canada grease Smearing your nose with grease on your birthday doesn't sound much fun, but tell that to the good people of Canada. The birthday boy or girl is 'lovingly' pinned to the ground and their nose is smeared with butter or grease therefore making them too slippery for bad luck to take hold in the coming year.

6) It happens The residents of Lucerne, Switzerland, really know how to make a birthday celebration memorable. Parents (possibly misguided parents) sometimes hire a sinister clown for the day to follow their child on their birthday and torment them until, finally, throwing a pie in their face. Somehow, this is meant to be good luck.

7) Do your ears hang low? In Hungary, once the presents have been torn open, everyone at the party lines up to tug on the ears of the person celebrating their birthday for 'good luck'. This is then followed by the singing of a song which wishes that the recipient lives so long 'their ears reach their ankles'.

8) Good manners Your mum told you off for doing it when you were a child but apparently slurping your food is actually good for you according to Chinese birthday tradition. The idea is to symbolize your longevity by eating a plate of long noodles, slurping them in as far as possible before biting. Maybe next you could put your elbows on the table, rock back on your chair and cough without putting your hand over your mouth for extra good luck?

9) Happy new year In Vietnam they really know how to celebrate New Year - they combine it with absolutely everyone's birthday and call it 'tet'. Vietnamese tradition is that the actual day of birth should not be acknowledged and that everyone gets a year older at 'tet'.

10) The bumps All Brits know this one. It's your birthday, you're minding your own business, having fun and eating a bit of cake, and then all of a sudden a mob descends upon you, grabs you by the limbs and throws you terrifyingly high in the air repeatedly until they reach your age number. It's all good fun. Apparently.