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Did You Know Today Is “Everyone’s Birthday”? (Yes, Yours Too!) 

Did You Know Today Is “Everyone’s Birthday”? (Yes, Yours Too!) 

Mankind was supposedly created today according to the traditional Chinese calendar.

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For the majority of us, birthdays only occur once a year. We, in fact, celebrate birthdays on an annual basis due to the astronomical and biological aspects of growing up. 

But what if I told you that you actually have two birthdays per year – at least according to the traditional Chinese calendar. 


Yup, aside from your birthday, the Chinese calendar recognises Renri (the seventh day of the first lunar month) as everyone’s birthday. 

Human Day 

According to Chinese legends, this is because Nuwa, the goddess who created the world, formed humankind today. 

Tim Lee

She supposedly took seven days to create the universe. The first six days she spent her time creating various animals – chickens, dogs, boars, sheep, cows, and horses. 

And then on the seventh day, she created humankind, which she supposedly created using yellow clay. As such, Chinese culture acknowledges Renri as the common birthday of everyone.

How do people celebrate this? 

To honour this sacred day, Chinese families across the globe have family dinners that consist of “7 good luck dishes” for dinner, celebrating the day as part of the Chinese New Year. 

The 7 dishes will consist of either vegetable delicacies or a raw fish and vegetable salad called yusheng (鱼生). 


Malaysian and Singaporean families, for instance, indulged in the “seventh-coloured raw fish”. Whereas, other international Chinese families indulged in the “seventh vegetable soup” for dinner. 

In addition, Chinese families will also avoid killing the six animals that were created by Nuwa on their respective birthdays. 

That said, the celebration is not celebrated by all Chinese families in Malaysia. While we are familiar with the festival, some of us do not really celebrate it.

Prevalent in other cultures 

The concept of Renri is also reflected in other East Asian cultures. In Japanese culture, for example, Renri is called Jinjitsu (人日) and it is celebrated as one of the five seasonal festivals. 

But while it is celebrated in February this year among the Chinese community, Jinjitsu is celebrated on 7 January instead in Japanese society. 

So, there you have it! Hope this explains the ‘Happy Birthday Everyone’ messages in your multiracial WhatsApp groups. 

And now that you know the significance of Renri, hope this sparks interesting and engaging conversations with your Chinese friends! 

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