Janam Dhin, Birthday, is celebrated in a unique way in Hinduism. In Hindu religion, the Hindi Tithi or the Nakshatra or Nallu is chosen to celebrate the birthday. The annual birthday celebration is not on a fixed date as in the English Calendar. Hindus give importance to the Tithi and in some regions it is based on the 27 Nakshatras. There is also a debate whether it is right to light candles on a cake and then blow it off on birthdays in Hindu tradition. Feeding the poor is an important part of Hindu birthday celebrations.
Visiting the temple on birthday and performing Ganesh Puja is considered highly auspicious. Other important pujas performed on birthday include pujas to Shiva, Rudra Abhishek, Navgraha Puja and pujas to ‘Ishta Devta’ or personal deity. Blessings of parents, especially that of Mother is very important on birthday.
Now, if the person believes in astrology, then depending on the position of the grahas etc there will be other pujas that will be needed to be performed on the birthday. For this the person will need the help of a learned Pandit or Poojari or astrologer.
In Hindu Tradition, lighting a lamp is considered highly auspicious and this is done daily by majority of Hindus at home. So there is a debate whether it is right to blow off the candles on a birthday cake. Traditionalists are strictly against this but liberals, who are in majority, nowadays celebrate birthday in this manner.
Even those Hindus who celebrate birthday by cutting cake, visit temples first and perform pujas. So a person should be given the freedom to celebrate his/her birthday the manner which he/she wants.
It must be remembered here that there are several Hindus who celebrate their birthday with children in orphanages or with elders in old age homes. It is also a Hindu tradition to feed the poor on a person’s Janam Dhin. Perhaps this is one tradition which we should maintain on all our birthdays.