Throughout our lives, we celebrate many milestones and occasions and it’s important to do so. It gives us the opportunity to reflect and also encourages us to progress and achieve more – celebrating our achievements is great for our mental health, relationships and a healthy self-concept.
Here I’ve highlighted some of the most common – and important – milestones we celebrate throughout life.
Of course, you don’t remember the celebration of your own birth, but ‘wetting the baby’s head’ is the customary way to mark the occasion in the UK. There are all kinds of weird and wonderful ways new babies are celebrated across the world, from head shaving to naming ceremonies.
From births to birthdays – while not every culture celebrates this anniversary it’s one of the most common in the world. From a rousing rendition of the birthday song to delicious cakes smothered in icing, along with gifts and parties – this day is usually marked in style.
While not everyone chooses to get married, celebrating an engagement is always a happy event filled with love. It’s customary to raise a glass to the happy couple, at an intimate family get together or perhaps a larger scale party with all the trimmings.
Whether it’s a religious ceremony or an interfaith, non-denominational, civil or humanist ceremony – weddings are celebrated worldwide. Rather than stick rigidly to traditions, weddings are becoming increasingly unique as couples look to reflect their personalities in the celebrations.
We celebrate all kinds of anniversaries as we move through life. Whether you’re married or not, it’s common to mark relationship anniversaries. The romantics among us will mark occasions such as a first date, a first kiss, an engagement anniversary and a wedding anniversary.
It’s not just relationship anniversaries that we celebrate – for instance, if you’ve battled an illness and been given the all-clear, that’s definitely a milestone worth honouring each year.
We celebrate academic achievements from GCSEs through to Doctorate’s, and rightly so as people work hard to achieve their grades. It could be a family meal or a full graduation ceremony followed by a party, but it’s customary to mark these occasions.
Equally, voluntary work or dedication to a particular field of work can often be recognised with awards. Being named on the Queen’s Honours List is more than worthy of a get together with family and friends.
We celebrate all kinds of life achievements such as new jobs, promotions and being accepted onto courses.
After many years of hard work in these jobs, we reach retirement age and with a successful career behind us, it’s important to mark this impressive milestone.
Increasingly, funerals are actually becoming celebrations of life rather than mourning their death. This clearly depends on the situation, but more than ever, people are turning their backs on the traditional black dress code in favour of a more colourful occasion.
If you’re planning a funeral, make sure you seek advice about the process and talk to your family about what would be best for the circumstances. Being open with loved ones can save a lot of heartache down the line.