Generally, many cultures and geographical regions celebrate important birthdays and milestones differently.

This is true in America as well, where certain dates and birthdays are considered more important than others.

Below, we are going to look at important birthdays celebrated in America and discuss the reason why these birthdays are seen as more important.

Traditionally, most American birthdays include lavish parties, with cake, sweets, desserts, and other small appetizers included.

In addition, most Americans exchange gifts and small presents to recognize birthdays and important milestones.

The inclusion of cake and other desserts is typically supplemented with birthday-themed and specific decorations.

This includes helium-filled balloons, party hats, birthday streamers, and candles placed atop the cake indicating the age of the individual.

Birthday cards are also traditionally provided and will include warm wishes and individualized text wishing the recipient a happy birthday.

Interested in more birthday-themed articles? 

Check out our articles on wishing a coworker a happy birthday, how to decorate a cubicle for a birthday, and other employee appreciation ideas.

First Birthday

Traditionally, from the important birthdays celebrated in America, the first birthday is one of the major ones.

The first birthday is a reflection of how quickly time has passed since the birth of their child and parents are happy to celebrate such a milestone.

The first birthday is an important one as it signifies the growth of the child and their development.

By the first birthday, many kids begin developing their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and little quirks.

These moments should be cherished and are often seen as individual milestones.

Fifth Birthday

The fifth birthday is another important birthday celebrated in America.

Typically, many children aged five will begin kindergarten at this age, signifying their coming of age and the beginning of their official schooling journey.

Five years old’s will have their own unique personalities by this age and will have formed interests which birthday parties may be themed against.

Thirteenth Birthday

Thirteenth birthdays are considered especially important as that is when a child is officially considered a teenager.

At this age, most American children can begin watching movies aged thirteen and up without a parent’s supervision.

The thirteenth birthday is also one that occurs before a child begins high school.

Important Birthdays Celebrated in America

Sixteenth Birthday

The sixteenth birthday is a major one for most American teenagers, particularly girls. 

Firstly, at this age, many teenagers are eligible to begin driving with a parent present or on their own. 

This is dependent on the state in which they reside and the individual rules therein.

Secondly, the sixteenth birthday is typically marked with a Sweet Sixteen party. 

This is traditionally done for girls and signifies a symbolic coming of age. 

These parties can be quite lavish and extravagant, with live music, a rented-out dance hall, and many friends and family members in attendance.

Eighteenth Birthday

In terms of the most important birthdays celebrated in America, the eighteenth is arguably the most important.

At this age, individuals are considered legal adults and are given the rights and responsibilities that come with being an adult.

They no longer require adult or parent supervision and can drive, vote, and partake in military service.

At the age of eighteen, most students are wrapping up their final year of high school and beginning to figure out their plans for college or post-secondary education.

In addition, at the age of eighteen individuals are able to apply to work in nearly all professions legally.

Important Birthdays Celebrated in America

Twenty-First Birthday

The twenty-first birthday is another milestone for American adults. 

At this age, American adults are allowed to drink alcohol legally. 

This birthday is typically celebrated at local bars and restaurant establishments, allowing for celebration and legal drinking.

Thirty and Beyond

Past the twenty-first birthday, Americans typically celebrate birthdays in ten-year increments. 

This begins at the thirtieth birthday and continues for every decade past. 

These parties are meant to celebrate and signify important milestones and the completion of another decade.


When it comes to important birthdays celebrated in America, the most important ones tend to be during the younger years. 

Ages one, thirteen, sixteen, eighteen, and twenty-one are particularly important and celebrated. 

Beyond those years, Americans tend to emphasize birthday parties which signify another decade completed.

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