In Chinese culture, the 60th birthday holds special meaning and is widely celebrated with food, gifts and festivities. Prior to the 60th birthday, only the first and 10th birthdays are considered significant.

The Meaning of the 60th Birthday

Life begins at 60.
Life begins at 60.

The Chinese people believe that when a person reaches the age of 60, he or she has completed a full cycle of life, which calls for a grand celebration. The history of the 60th birthday is based on Chinese astrology. Twelve animals symbolize astrological signs. The Chinese calender is based the 12 signs and the five natural elements: metal, fire, water, earth and wood. This results in a 60-year cycle. Following the 60th birthday, the person begins a new life.

The 60th Birthday Celebration

Noodles are essential for the birthday celebration.
Noodles are essential for the birthday celebration.

The 60th birthday celebration is marked by special food items, such as noodles and peaches, both representing a long life. During the festivities, adult children, grandchildren and friends come together to show appreciation and give presents. Money, flowers and cakes are common gifts. The larger the family, the bigger the celebration. Chinese people generally only celebrate birthdays every 10 years following the 60th birthday.