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

Three children blowing out candles at a birthday party

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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

How Do Adventists Do Baby Dedications?

How Do Adventists Do Baby Dedications?

How Do Adventists Do Baby Dedications?For Christians, dedication ceremonies for babies, also for older children, are an important time for parents and the church. It’s a special part of the worship service when parents present their young children to God and the...

Do Adventists Celebrate Communion and Foot Washing?

Do Adventists Celebrate Communion and Foot Washing?

Do Adventists Celebrate Communion and Foot Washing?Like many Christian denominations, Adventists regularly participate in communion, also referred to as the “Lord’s Supper” or the “Last Supper.” They also practice foot washing (John 13:1-20), or the “ordinance of...

Present Truth—What It Is and Why It Matters

Present Truth—What It Is and Why It Matters

Present Truth—What It Is and Why It MattersPresent truth, according to Seventh-day Adventists, is the belief that certain biblical truths are relevant to God’s people at specific times in history. God sends the Holy Spirit to reveal truths that help us better...

Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Easter

Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Easter

Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Easter?Yes, many Seventh-day Adventists do celebrate Easter. But celebrating Easter has less to do with Adventism and more to do with the individual decisions of church members. The reason is that the Bible doesn’t specifically...

Does the Adventist Church Have Youth Ministry Programs?

Does the Adventist Church Have Youth Ministry Programs?

Does the Adventist Church Have Youth Ministry Programs?The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been organizing and operating youth ministry programs since 1879. In our opinion, youth ministry is one of the most important ministries a church can have. Being a tween or a...

Sola Scriptura—What It Means and Why It Matters

Sola Scriptura—What It Means and Why It Matters

Sola Scriptura—What Does it Mean, and Why is it so Important?Sola scriptura is a term that originated during the Protestant Reformation. It represents the way many Christians view the Bible and its authority. While the idea is simple enough, there is so much more to...

What Do Adventists Offer for Young Adults?

What Do Adventists Offer for Young Adults?

What Do Adventists Offer for Young Adults?In recent years, the age group often classified as “young adults” has been trickier to engage. It’s been a significant concern for Christian churches around the world. Though interestingly enough, similar observations...

Do I Need to be an Adventist to be Saved?

Do I Need to be an Adventist to be Saved?

Do I Need to be an Adventist to be Saved? The answer to this question is simply, “no.” When it comes to salvation in Jesus Christ, all that is required of a person is to acknowledge Jesus’ sacrifice for us, believe that He has saved us, and claim the free gift of...

Do You Have to Be Vegetarian to Be Adventist?

Do You Have to Be Vegetarian to Be Adventist?

Do You Have to be Vegetarian to be Adventist? Of course not. Membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church has never included any dietary requirements. However, there might be some reasons people might think that. So many Adventists are vegetarians or even vegan, and...

All About Seventh-day Adventist Colporteurs

All About Seventh-day Adventist Colporteurs

 All About Seventh-day Adventist ColporteursThe Seventh-day Adventist Church uses a variety of methods to spread the hope of the gospel to the world. One of these ways is through colporteuring, also called “canvassing” or “literature evangelism.” As you can probably...

What Is an Adventist Book Center (ABC)?

What Is an Adventist Book Center (ABC)?

What is an Adventist Book Center (ABC)? When you walk into any one of the many Adventist Book Center (ABC) locations, chances are you’ll be greeted by pleasant gospel music in the background, friendly employees, and row after row of Christian books, movies, Bibles,...

Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Holidays?

Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Holidays?

Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Holidays? Wondering whether your Adventist classmate or coworker keeps the same holidays you do? Perhaps you want to include them in some festivities, but you also want to respect their beliefs. Thus, you’re unsure of how to...

The Adventist Haystack (It’s Not What You Think) + 4 Recipes

The Adventist Haystack (It’s Not What You Think) + 4 Recipes

The Adventist Haystack (It’s Not What You Think) + 4 Recipes If you’ve ever heard Seventh-day Adventists mention “haystacks,” they’re probably not talking about literal stacks of hay.Haystacks are basically a taco salad—with an Adventist spin on it! Most versions are...

Do Seventh-day Adventists Believe in Medical Care?

Do Seventh-day Adventists Believe in Medical Care?

Do Seventh-day Adventists Believe in Medical Care? Adventists talk a lot about health principles and disease prevention. But how do we handle sickness and medical needs when they inevitably come along? The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes in and supports...

Why do Adventists Emphasize Religious Liberty?

Why do Adventists Emphasize Religious Liberty?

 Why do Adventists Emphasize Religious Liberty?Adventists see religious liberty as an essential human right. After all, God endowed humanity with freedom of choice from the very beginning. So we believe it’s best for governments to also support their citizens’ rights...

All about Adventist Elementary Schools

All about Adventist Elementary Schools

All about Adventist Elementary SchoolsThe Seventh-day Adventist Church operates the largest Protestant education system in the world. A big part of this system is our K-8 elementary schools, or primary schools, as they’re known in other parts of the world. Here you...

What Are Pathfinder and Adventurer Clubs?

What Are Pathfinder and Adventurer Clubs?

What are Pathfinder / Adventurer Clubs?Like the boy or girl scouts, Pathfinders and Adventurers learn about nature and life skills. But what makes these clubs special is their purpose to bring young people closer to Jesus. If you’ve wondered about Pathfinder or...

13th Sabbath Offering: What It Is and Why It Matters

13th Sabbath Offering: What It Is and Why It Matters

13th Sabbath Offering: What It Is and Why It MattersThe Seventh-day Adventist Church has emphasized service and mission work from its earliest days. That’s why there’s a collective “offering calendar” most Adventist congregations follow to support these efforts. Each...

A Look at Adventist Colleges and Universities

A Look at Adventist Colleges and Universities

A Look at Adventist Colleges and Universities On the outside, Seventh-day Adventist universities may not look much different than other college campuses. But the real differences are beneath the surface. Adventist Universities are all about helping each student have a...

What Is ASI (Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries)?

What Is ASI (Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries)?

What is ASI? (Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries) ASI, which stands for Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries, is a membership-based organization that provides support for Seventh-day Adventist laypeople (Adventist professionals who aren’t pastors). The...

What Are Adventist Evangelistic Meetings?

What Are Adventist Evangelistic Meetings?

What are Adventist Evangelistic Meetings? The Seventh-day Adventist Church puts a huge emphasis on sharing the gospel through evangelism, or sharing the gospel through preaching, teaching, and testimony. One of the ways we accomplish this is by organizing public...

Christian Summer Camps—A Cherished Adventist Ministry

Christian Summer Camps—A Cherished Adventist Ministry

Christian Summer Camps—A Cherished Adventist Ministry School’s out, the sun’s shining, and your kids are thrilled to have the summer ahead of them. Then three days in, you hear, “I’m bored…” What’s something kids can do that’s fun and active, but also wholesome and...

Do Adventists Have Their Own Bible?

Do Adventists Have Their Own Bible?

Do Adventists Have Their Own Bible? Adventists have some unique beliefs—you might be able to name some of them right now. The seventh-day Sabbath. Death as a sleep. Hell as nonexistence. Where do they get these teachings from? Do they use their own version of the...

What Is Vespers?

What Is Vespers?

What is Vespers? Friday rolls around, and you’re spending time with your Adventist friends or relatives when they mention they’re going to vespers tonight. They said the word so nonchalantly. Maybe that made you feel like you should know what it means. Maybe that’s...

Adventist Pastors

Adventist Pastors

Church Leaders: What is the Role of an Adventist Pastor? What is the role of a pastor in the Adventist Church? The position itself, at least as far as a local congregation is concerned, is not much different from that of pastors in other protestant denominations. An...

Structure of the Adventist Church

Structure of the Adventist Church

The Leadership Structure of the Adventist Church The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a representative form of structure that connects its 90,000-plus congregations across the globe and gives its members a part in decision-making. Though the Church was incorporated in...

Everything You Need to Know About Sabbath Meals

Everything You Need to Know About Sabbath Meals

Everything You Need to Know About Sabbath Meals For 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...

What to Expect When You Go to an Adventist Church

What to Expect When You Go to an Adventist Church

What to Expect When You Go to an Adventist Church If you’re attending an Adventist church for the first time, you may wonder what it’s really like. While each Adventist church is unique in its collective personality and local culture, Adventist church services are...

Adventist Education

Adventist Education

What is the Adventist Education System?   Seventh-day Adventists have historically upheld the importance of a well-rounded, high-quality education. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning, the Adventist Education system operates on the...

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.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This