Happy Birthday is said in Spanish as Feliz Cumpleanos which means literally “Happy Completed Years”! Which if you think of it is a much more positive way of looking at getting older. In fact Mexicans do look at how many years you have completed and not how old you are! That shows much greater respect for the elderly people as they realize they have more experience with having completed more years. In the case of our online magazine the BajaInsider we have just completed 11 years!
In celebration of a birthday in Mexico come a few great traditions such as the Piñata. Piñatas are generally papier-mâché forms such as globes, stars or even people like cartoon characters. These Piñatas come in all sizes and colors and are empty with a hole in the top somewhere. They then fill the Piñata with lots of candies and small gifts and hang it high up on a line that can be moved up and down and side to side.
Once the Piñata is ready then the participants circle around and someone is blindfolded and given a large stick like a broomstick or bat. They are then spun around a bit and let loose to try and hit the moving Piñata with the hopes of breaking it open for all the goodies to fall. It generally takes several attempts by several people taking turns allowing all a chance to break the Piñata. Once it breaks open and all falls to the ground everyone scurries to collect up the prizes and candies. It is great fun and many variations of what can be put into a piñata (adults only can be very interesting) and how the piñata is moved around can be made more or less challenging depending on who the participants are.
When it is time to cut the cake you will hear the song “Las Mañanitas” which literally translates to the little mornings
The Lyrics are as follows:
Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
Despierta, mi bien, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.
Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.
Translation is as follows:
This is the little morning song that King David sang
because today is your saint's day and we are singing it for you
Wake up, my dear, wake up, look it is already dawn
the birds are already singing and the moon has set
How beautiful is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up, it is morning, look it is already dawn.
Another great Mexican Birthday tradition is not just the eating of a birthday cake but the tradition of the first bite. As everyone stands around the one to have just completed another year of life, they all chant Mordida, Mordida, Mordida! Yes, Mordida is the same word used for a bribe but that is because it means to take a bite. The birthday person is expected to take their first bite of the cake without any utensils with their hands at their back. Then of course customarily one of their best friends or family is sure to push their face into the cake or lift it up into their face for the same affect. With this all being done in great fun; I have seen people with many completed years that just love getting their face in the cake.
It was the summer of 2003 two of us started in a dimly lit room, sweating away half neked under an air conditioner that made more noise than cold air. We launched on August 9th with just 60 pages of Baja information. Just a few weeks later Hurricane Ignacio blew through town and jumped our traffic from dozens of visits per day to a couple hundred. Three weeks after Ignacio, Hurricane Marty came to town and devastated the marine community. We were virtually the ONLY source of information in English on the web and we enjoyed our first 7000 visit day.
Today, we have close to 1000 pages of Baja information and enjoy about 100,000 visits per month Weather is a mainstay on our site and has become one of the most trusted sources for Baja specific weather and particularly Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone information on the web. To all of you who have helped make the Insider popular and helped us hang tough through the dark days of anti-Mexican press and struggling real estate. We always appreciate your readership and content contributions. A most sincere thank you from Publisher James Glover and Editor Tomas Zyber.
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While we can’t virtually have a Piñata party and cake with you we at www.BajaInsider.com would like to thank you for being our loyal readers and supporters helping us grow through these last 11 years! Have a wonderful year of living and traveling here in Baja and please help us pass the word as we proceed on to complete yet another year…and many more after that!