June 18 – Clark Kent's Birthday

Posted on June 18, 2017

Clark Kent, above, might celebrate his birthday on a
different date than Superman, below.

Even though they're the same guy!

If you're a fictional character, should you even HAVE a birthday?

When we talk about some fictional characters' birthdays, like Mickey Mouse's birthday, we really mean the release date of their first movie or book or comic strip what have you.

But sometimes a fictional character has such an extensive backstory, the writer / creator of that character has even invented that character's birthday.

In the case of Superman, there are at least four birthdates!

According to Action Comics #149, in 1950, Superman, also known as Kal-El, was born on Krypton sometime in October, but later comics of the 1960s through 1980s gave Superman a rarer birthdate: February 29.

Clark Kent - the human that Kal-El pretends to be - supposedly celebrates his birthday today (June 18), but that is really the anniversary of the Kent family finding him. But one comic, 2009's Superman: Secret Origin #1, depicts Kent celebrating his birthday on December 1, for some unknown-to-me reason.

Kal-El (aka Clark Kent AND aka Superman)
when he was first found.

Actually, according to the DC Multiverse Historian, there are even more possible Superman / Clark Kent birthdays bandied about! 

But let's skip away from fiction to real people, and talk about real birthdays!

Did you know...?

Many people from war-torn areas don't actually know the date of their birth. For example, a LOT of Syrians are recorded as being born on January 1, but the fact is that those who don't know their actual birthdate are assigned January 1 birthdays in the year they were born (or the best estimate of the year they were born). 

Some people, including observant Jehovah's Witnesses, don't celebrate birthdays for religious reasons. Some other people, including some Muslims, have no birthday celebration traditions in their culture and are reluctant to adopt Western traditions. Still others just don't have extra money for throwing parties, buying gifts, or even making a cake.

Although almost all of the peoples in the world have much more contact with one other these days than they used to, and to some extent popular traditions have spread far and wide, in some Asian and African nations celebrations of individual birthdays are uncommon.

In Vietnam and Korea, actual anniversaries of births are not acknoledged much. Instead, part of the New Year's tradition is adding one more year to everyone's age. In a way, it's like everyone in the entire nation having the same birthday!

Check out more birthday traditions here.

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