The tradition started in the mid-nineteenth century but did not become popular until the mid-twentieth century.
Birthday parties are now a feature of many cultures.
Large parties in public streets may celebrate events such as Mardi Gras or the signing of a peace treaty ending a long war.
A birthday party is a celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the person who is being honored.
Party locations are often decorated with colorful decorations, such as balloons and streamers.
A birthday cake is usually served with lit candles that are to be blown out after a "birthday wish" has been made.
A cocktail party is a party at which cocktails are served. Women who attend a cocktail party may wear a cocktail dress.
A cocktail hat is sometimes worn as a fashion statement.
A party will typically feature food and beverages, and often music and dancing or other forms of entertainment.
At some informal dinner parties, the host may ask guests to bring food or beverages (a main dish, a side dish, a dessert, or appetizers).
A party of this type is called a potluck or potluck dinner.
Examples of traditional coming of age celebrations include the North American sweet sixteen party and the Latin American quinceañera.
A surprise party is a party that is not made known beforehand to the person in whose honor it is being held.