Capricorn: The Mountain Goat. Functionalities: Ambitious; success, achievement and results oriented; authority, organisation, time, status, reputation, rewards, awards, responsible and mature.
“No wonder you’re scaring the rest of the committee,” a friend observed on my recent birthday.
“You'll be happy to know,” I assured her, “that I've spent the past decade toning down some of my more extreme Capricorn traits.”
This year my birthday celebrations inadvertently extended over several days as I obligingly accommodated different friends’ availability for coffee/lunch/dinner and movies dates.
Not that I’m complaining; au contraire, I’m convinced birthday celebrations should be extended for as long as possible. After all, Christmas decorations are up from October these days, and supermarkets are already selling hot cross buns for Easter.
Besides, as a child I felt short-changed when I received combined Christmas/birthday presents, or none at all, as Greeks considered namedays more important than birthdays.
So from now on I’m having maximum celebratory exposure by starting my birthday festivities in October (to incorporate the added bonus of Christmas and New Year) and continue until my nameday in February – that’s five months of guaranteed social engagements.
No one will ever have to apologise for being a day or two late with their birthday wishes.
Image: Rosalie Hall
10 insights into my functional Capricorn nature
My online research has revealed that we independent, rock-like Capricorns have many sterling qualities:
1. We are confident, strong-willed and calm.
2. Hardworking, unemotional, shrewd, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious to the extreme.
3. Methodical, tough, stubborn, unyielding and persistent.
4. As the ranking authority figure in a given situation we expect underlings to be as self-disciplined as us, and to perform each task to the highest standard.
5. Witty, subtle, quiet and reserved.
6. We have an insatiable yet methodical desire for knowledge.
7. Rational, logical and clearheaded.
8. Delight in debate in which we can show off our cleverness by luring our adversaries into traps and confounding them with logic.
9. Somewhat self-centered but not excessively so; wary and cautious around people we don’t know very well.
10. We make few good friends but are intensely loyal to them; we can become bitter and powerful enemies.
Source: Astrology online
As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve toned down some of my more extreme Capricorn traits.
Why we celebrate birthdays
You may be equally shocked to learn that children’s and women’s birthdays were never celebrated in ancient times. Apparently, your birthday was only recognised if you were a male child born into royalty or a high-ranking nobleman.
It was the ancient Greeks (of course) who introduced the custom of a sweet cake after adopting the birthday celebrations from the ancient Egyptians.
In the distant past people also thought that bad spirits lurked around on your birthday. They believed the only way to keep you safe was to invite friends and family around so that their good wishes and gift-giving would prevent the evil spirits from harming you. They also made as much noise as possible at parties to ensure they scared away those evil spirits.
10 humorous birthday quotes
1. Age is a number and mine is unlisted. ~ Unknown
2. As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can't remember the other two. ~ Sir Norman Wisdom
3. You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely. ~ Ogden Nash
4. Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed. ~ Charles Schulz
5. Our birthdays are feathers in the broad wing of time. ~ Jean Paul Richter
6. The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. ~ Lucille Ball
7. May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent. ~ Author Unknown
8. All the world is a birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much. ~ George Harrison
9. How far that little candle throws his beams! ~ Shakespeare
10. The heyday of a woman's life is the shady side of fifty. ~ Elizabeth Staton
In the spirit of my extended birthday celebrations, I’ve tracked down some culturally appropriate birthday expressions to share with each other.
Image: Hari Kotrotsios
How to say happy birthday around the world
Arabic - eid mīlad sa'aīd
Bulgarian - Čestit rožden den
Czech - Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám!
Danish - Tillykke med fødselsdagen
Fijian - Vanuinui vinaka ki na nomu siga ni sucu
Finnish - Hyvää syntymäpäivää
Greek - Hróñia Pollá or Harúmena genéthlia!
Hawaiian - Hauʻoli Lā Hānau
Hungarian - Boldog születésnapot
Icelandic - Til hamingju með afmælið
Irish (Gaelic) - Breithlá sona duit / Lá breithe shona duit
Italian Buon compleanno
Japanese - otanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu
Klingon - qoSlIj DatIvjaj
Korean - saengil chukha hamnida
Latin - Felix dies natalis / Felix sit natalis dies
Lithuanian - Su gimtadieniu / Sveikinu gimtadienio proga
Māori - Rā Whānau ki a Koe!
Nepali - janmadinko shubhakamana
Romanian - La mulţi ani
Russian - S dniom roždenija!
Samoan - Ia manuia lou Aso Fanau
Swahili - Nakutakia mema kwa siku yako ya kuzaliwa!
Turkish - Doğum günün kutlu olsun
Vietnamese - Chúc mừng sinh nhật
Welsh - Penblwydd Hapus
Zulu - Halala ngosuku lokuzalwa
For a more extensive list, visit Omniglot.
How do you celebrate your birthday?
New Zealand 2008
New Zealand 2006
United Kingdom 2004
Athens Olympics 2004
Beijing to Athens 1994
I acknowledge the traditional Custodians of the land on which I work and live, the Gubbi Gubbi / Kabi Kabi and Joondoburri people, and recognise their continuing connection to land, the waters and sky. I pay my respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
© 2023 HARI KOTROTSIOS