Do Adventists Celebrate Birthdays?

Yes, most Seventh-day Adventists do celebrate birthdays because we see them as excellent reminders of the life God has blessed us with. And we celebrate them the same way everyone else does—with friends, family, presents, and a special meal.

But these decisions boil down to personal conviction. Each Adventist may have different reasons to celebrate or not celebrate.

That’s why we’re about to explain:

Let’s begin!

Why most Adventists celebrate birthdays

Seventh-day Adventists celebrate birthdays because these milestones are times of gratitude for the gift of life. After all, each birthday marks another year we’ve lived, affirming how we’ve grown and how we’ve been blessed. They’re an opportunity to show the love of Christ to important people in our lives, whether family, friends, or church members.

And while the Bible doesn’t directly address whether we should or shouldn’t celebrate birthdays, it does show us people rejoicing in their children’s important milestones.

For example, Abraham threw a party when Isaac was fully weaned (Genesis 21:8).

John the Baptist’s parents had a gathering to celebrate his birth, naming, and circumcision (Luke 2:57–60).

And when Jesus Christ turned twelve, he was deemed old enough to go to the Passover celebration with his parents (Luke 2:41–42).

So regardless of whether the Jews or the early church had birthday celebrations, both the Old Testament and New Testament affirm celebrating various achievements in life. And many of these achievements had to do with the particular age of a child.

And because the Bible doesn’t say anything against celebrating birthdays, Adventists are left to make their own decision about it. The Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages following personal conviction in the celebration of such holidays.1

And most Adventists do choose to celebrate birthdays.

For one, we believe that God, as our creator, loves to see us live and prosper.

He had a role in our development from our earliest moments (Psalm 139:13). And He cares about us so much that He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7).

He loves watching us grow—not just growing physically but growing in maturity and wisdom—and birthdays are a great way to commemorate that.

Second, the Bible tells us that it’s good to enjoy life (Ecclesiastes 8:15). And it encourages us to rejoice for each day we’re given (Psalm 118:24).

Along those lines, here are some other reasons Adventists celebrate birthdays:

  • To show gratitude to God
  • To spend time with family and friends
  • To show appreciation for our loved ones
  • To remind children that they are a special part of our family and that we love watching them grow
  • To remind adults and seniors that they will always have a place in our family and that we admire their wisdom and maturity
  • To remind church members that we care about them and they have a place in our church family
  • To enjoy a special meal or dessert
  • To enjoy the blessing of giving and receiving gifts

So what might an Adventist birthday celebration look like? Find out next.

How Adventists celebrate birthdays

Adventists celebrate birthdays just like anyone else. Most celebrations involve gathering together with friends and family to enjoy food and gifts. But the way we celebrate birthdays has more to do with our own culture and family traditions than religion.

However, there are some general principles and practices Adventists might embrace when celebrating birthdays.

For one, most try to avoid throwing over-the-top parties. Much of this has to do with honoring God’s call to use money responsibly (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Instead, they might settle for a peaceful, joy-filled day with their loved ones. They may have a home-cooked meal or go out to eat at a local restaurant. And even open up a bottle of sparkling grape juice (as a tasty, non-alcoholic alternative).

Like many families, they’ll have a cake or another kind of tasty dessert and receive presents from their loved ones.

The church family might get involved by placing birthday announcements in the church bulletin. If the church is hosting a potluck after the worship service on Sabbath, congregations might even sing happy birthday or get them a birthday cake to share.

On the Sabbath day closest to their birthdays, some Adventists give a special offering along with their tithe to thank God for another year of life. This is known as a Birthday Thank Offering.

Of course, it’s all up to each person how they choose to celebrate. But in the end, most Adventists use the occasion to remind their loved ones how much they value them.

Why some Adventists might not celebrate birthdays

Although very few Adventists avoid celebrating birthdays, there are three key reasons why Adventists—and other Christians in general—might make the personal decision not to do so. They are:

  • The Bible doesn’t command people to celebrate
  • Some modern birthday traditions have pagan roots
  • Birthdays might encourage selfishness

It’s true that the Bible never commands believers to celebrate their birthdays.

But if you follow this line of thinking, you’ll start to realize the Bible doesn’t mention a lot of things that people do today (like driving cars or using the internet).

But just because these things aren’t mentioned in the Bible doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do them.

Likewise, just because something has pagan roots doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate it or use it in everyday life. And it’s a good thing, too, because many things have pagan connotations in some way, shape, or form (just look at the names of the days of the week!).

Instead, God wants us to pray for guidance and use the reason He has given us to decide what to do concerning things the Bible never mentions or things that have pagan roots. The key is making sure our actions uplift biblical principles.

And as far as being selfish goes, it all depends on how you celebrate.

You don’t have to have an over-the-top party. You can have a simple one at home and look for ways to make your birthday a blessing to others, such as using the occasion as a way to earn money for a non-profit organization.

Above all, birthdays can be a blessing through the simple fact that you’re taking time for meaningful connections with people.

Personal conviction guides Adventist birthday celebrations

While some Christian denominations don’t celebrate birthdays, the Adventist Church isn’t one of them.

Most Adventists enjoy these occasions, but not because of specific religious rules. Rather, we approach the holidays based on personal choices.

The majority of us who celebrate birthdays have found many meaningful reasons to do so—whether it’s spending time with family, bringing thanks to God, or finding joy in another year of life.

And now that we’ve covered what Adventists believe about birthdays, aren’t you curious where they stand on other holidays like Christmas, Easter, and New Year?

  1.  “Do Adventists Celebrate Christmas?” Seventh-day Adventist Church. []

Related Articles

Questions about Adventists? Ask here!

Find answers to your questions about Seventh-day Adventists

More Answers

Ellen White’s Writings and the Adventist Health Message

Ellen White’s Writings and the Adventist Health Message

How Ellen White Influenced the Adventist Health MessageSeventh-day Adventists are known for their emphasis on healthy living. And Ellen G. White was a significant influence in the development of this priority and practice among Adventists. She taught that caring for...

Health Clinics

Health Clinics

Ellen White and Adventist Healthcare—Ahead of Their Time Medical care in the mid-1800s was primitive, to say the least. Basic concepts we take for granted—such as proper handwashing or recognizing the dangers of bloodletting—were nonexistent. And doctors often had...

What Did Ellen White Teach about Vegetarianism?

What Did Ellen White Teach about Vegetarianism?

What Did Ellen White Teach about Vegetarianism?One thing you might have heard about Seventh-day Adventists is their emphasis on a vegetarian lifestyle. If you’re wondering why that is, it goes back to our church’s humble beginnings: As Adventists studied the Bible,...

How Ellen White’s Teachings Can Improve Your Health

How Ellen White’s Teachings Can Improve Your Health

 How Ellen White’s Teachings Can Improve Your Health Healthcare in the nineteenth century was said to leave “more disease than it took away” with its use of bloodletting and “medicines” like mercury and arsenic.1 As people questioned these methods, new approaches...

Change Your Perspective on Life with These 5 Mindsets

Change Your Perspective on Life with These 5 Mindsets

5 Biblical Mindsets to Change Your Life for the Better Sometimes, life is just plain hard. There’s no way around it. So would thinking about things differently really change anything? Our perspective on life, and everything it throws at us, affects more than we’re...

Bible Promises for When You’re Worried or Fearful

Bible Promises for When You’re Worried or Fearful

Bible Promises for When You’re Worried or Fearful The Bible is full of beautiful promises that can comfort us in a variety of situations. They can give us hope when we are hopeless, make us feel grateful for God’s love, and comfort us when we’re grieving or suffering....

12 Practical Ways to Overcome Worry

12 Practical Ways to Overcome Worry

12 Practical Ways to Overcome Worry DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute any professional medical advice and is not intended as a substitute for professional mental health therapy. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of...

How the Bible Talks About Worry, Fear, and Anxiety

How the Bible Talks About Worry, Fear, and Anxiety

How the Bible Talks About Worry, Fear, and Anxiety Worry and fear are the ingredients of anxiety. It’s easy to see how the world isn’t perfect—and the anticipation of a bad event or experience (that may or may not even happen) can end up draining the peace and...

How to Calm Anxious Thoughts, Using the Bible

How to Calm Anxious Thoughts, Using the Bible

How to Calm Anxious Thoughts, Using the Bible You were expecting a phone call from your daughter half an hour ago, and she still hasn’t called. She’s also not answering your calls. You feel your heart thumping as your thoughts race: What if she’s been in a car...

What You Should Know About the Adventist Health Studies

What You Should Know About the Adventist Health Studies

What You Should Know About the Adventist Health StudiesYou may have heard that Seventh-day Adventists care about health. But what you may not know is that Adventists have been the subjects of long-term research into lifestyle and health. Since 1958, researchers from...

Benefits of Sunlight

Yes, There Are Health Benefits of SunlightDespite the bad reputation it’s gotten, sunlight is generally associated with positivity, as shown by songs like “You Are My Sunshine,” or phrases that refer to delightful people as having a “sunny disposition.” There’s a...

Why Your Body Needs Rest for Optimal Health

Why Your Body Needs Rest for Optimal HealthStruggling to think straight? Wondering why you can’t remember that important tidbit you heard earlier today? Feeling like your emotions are about to explode? These are just some of the symptoms that can reveal your need for...

The Seventh-day Adventist Diet: One of Our Key Longevity Secrets

The Seventh-day Adventist Diet: One of Our Key Longevity SecretsOats, avocados, lentils, tofu—probably not what you first think of in a standard American diet. But if you show up at the home of an Adventist, chances are you may be served one of these staples. Out of a...

Why You Need Fresh Air

Why You Need Fresh Air“When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters,” the American Lung Association tells us. We couldn’t agree more! Breathing in clean air is an essential part of caring for our bodies, which God has given us. Together with other health principles,...

Sabbath Meal

Everything You Need to Know About Sabbath MealsFor Seventh-day Adventists, sharing a Sabbath meal with friends and family is one of the most special and memorable parts of the Sabbath. That’s why we want to share with you all about Sabbath meals and why they’re such a...

Adventists and Healthy Living

Adventists and Healthy LivingWhat’s the Adventist “Health Message” All About? One thing Seventh-day Adventists are known for is their emphasis on living healthy lives. Since our bodies are living temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20), we strive to stay...

Water’s Importance—Physical Benefits and Spiritual Applications

Water’s Importance—Physical Benefits and Spiritual Applications We all know that water is a substance we can’t live without.   Not only does it quench our thirst and keep us hydrated from the inside, but it’s necessary for hygiene and cleansing on the outside as well....

How Important is a “Day of Rest?”

How Important is a “Day of Rest?”

How Important is a “Day of Rest?”  Why God Created a Day for Downtime by Martin Casper Do you ever experience the feeling of complete overload? Do you feel like the only way you can get ahead is by slamming it 24/7? I hear these types of comments more and more...

7 Reasons Why a Day of Rest is Important

7 Reasons Why a Day of Rest is Important

7 Reasons Why a Day of Rest is ImportantWe live in a fast-paced world. It seems as if success is measured in how much you can do in a short amount of time. (Extra points for the service or product that is available 24/7). The idea that we will be more successful if we...

How do Adventists choose what to eat?

How do Adventists choose what to eat?

How do Adventists choose what to eat?Every day, parents go through the ritual of getting their kids to eat what is healthy and good while trying to steer them away from what can hinder the growth of their developing bodies. Nutritionists work with their clients to...

How do Adventists make movie and music choices?

How do Adventists make movie and music choices?

How do Adventists make movie and music choices?Cinema has come a long way since the first clips of motion pictures came to light in 1878. As the decades rolled on, film and music producers have created rivers of movies and albums for the masses. Today, watching movies...

Why are many Adventists Vegetarian?

Why are many Adventists Vegetarian?

Why are many Adventists Vegetarian?The diet intended for man is outlined in Genesis 1:29, “And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.’”...

Didn’t find your answer? Ask us!

We understand your concern of having questions but not knowing who to ask—we’ve felt it ourselves. When you’re ready to learn more about Adventists, send us a question! We know a thing or two about Adventists.

Contact Us