Food and fun, theme and vibe, carousing and indulging might be what defines the ‘party’ term that we take immense delight in in any of its numerous modes and forms in unfurling and in experience. Characterised by the observance of any occasion however special or ordinary it might be in importance, parties sum up celebration of all sorts ranging from the quintessential birthday parties to the dreamy wedding affairs or revelling instead in achievements even when not conforming to the customary connotation of life events in the most traditional alluding of them, or even organised and equally enjoyed with full gusto sans even any specific reason or purpose whatsoever, an occasional party is perhaps what keeps us going perfectly spirited and upbeat through the more mundane routine of life in general.
The essence of parties might be universal in their exciting element of fun but every type of prevalence upon the partying premise still harbours within themselves definite identities in their hum and hype. Wedding parties for instance tend to be rather aesthetic affairs in presentation across every aspect of them, success bashes exude the happy pride in achieving, homecoming get togethers happen to be warming affairs redolent with the pleasant wafts of nostalgia and so on and so forth. Interestingly as well, not just in their categorisation, parties deliver also differently on different levels of the emotional scale for different demographics of human basis. Kids and children absolutely delight in the fun and play notion parties essentially convey, teenagers and youngsters alike see them as a definite prospect in mingling and socialising whereas those on the more ‘stable’ side of life derive a certain contentment in the warmth and positive vibes that parties are forever profused in.
One specific celebration that however is almost always understood in their being the first ever dawning of the exemplary essence of life happens to be the universal, commonplace, ubiquitous frolicking of birthday parties. As whole events in themselves that every kid looks forward to in more than ordinary experience of the excited emotions particularly when it’s their own to transforming over the years as events in self realisation or less profoundly asserting still as exciting but also perhaps somehow muted celebration in the milestone of yet another year in precious living, birthday parties embody a character that is unique and incomparable indeed to the many a other experiences of the party kind that one continuously encounter all through their living of life along the summation of their birthdays-whether marked by parties or not.
This uniqueness of the nature that birthday parties embody, in their very embracing of the most basic essence of life itself is more than evident across the entire realm of it. That is to say, characterised as they are by exclusive elements in all distinction, universal yet never the less appealing, in fact so adored that even the very thought of them inevitably sparks the anticipation of the D day- or should we say B’day instead- charm, parties celebrating every year the event of one’s birth are exclusive themselves in their host of assets. Particularly when pertaining to the children’s perceiving of this particular play of the party promise, birthdays tend to be even more exalted experiences in childlike extravagance.
No image ever of any child’s legit birthday party would be striking enough without a certain sight dominating indeed the party ‘horizon’, more so of the birthday being itself but also generous enough in its decking up of the mood and look of others like them. Indeed standing out as a somewhat long, conical shaped pointed hat, instantly identified as the party hat and catering most popularly to birthday celebrations but also marking occasions no any less merry as say the merry times of Christmas, these are rather modern sportings in such precise nature of them but deep down derive their roots from the trails of tradition, not so much consequential perhaps as to the exact essence of them but relevant still in eking out importance esteemed enough to see a forever continuing placing of them on ‘celebrated heads’.
How and why this fun way of upping the quotient of fun already associated with birthday came to be might not be exactly traceable in its origins. But as a tradition willingly adhered to by excited little kids who giggle and squeak and exclaim every time they get to don that ultimate wear in distinction, birthday hats sure are not essentially humble for sure. Drawing upon multiple traditions perhaps not necessarily of the same alluding, and neither in all certainty as well, the very prominent conical reinstating of the birthday vibe is one that has been regularly encountered through times in both ancient and more modern history.
The notions differ somewhat, or emerge rather as ambiguous as to what led to this fun and noticeable way of celebrating birthday. But in any case though of its multiple reiterations, one thing is certain- the celebratory quotient of all obviousness is also accompanied by a definite royal underlying. Whether one considers the ancient Egyptians to be kickstarting this way in celebration, donned as they were by their pharaohs in a distinguished show of nobility or these same people again to be furthering of this tradition in more ordinary markings, donning them a as part of festive ensembles during banquets, the rather entrenched in time essence of these hats seem to be more than well established. Regarded as symbols of rebirth then, it is no surprise that these pointy assertions of life came to be intricately associated with such occasions furthering the very ideals and celebrating in all wholeheartedness the privilege indeed of being born.
Other equally appropriate almost renditions that have seen the conical pointed hat being a mainstay across birthday parties and associated such celebrations the world over owe reference to princesses and noblewomen of medieval Europe sporting these unmissable heights of stately allure. Even rather elaborately decorated with veils and jewels and/ or floral detailing, these pretty specimens of what closely resembles the birthday hats of today set out another premise in ‘prestige’ making these partying staples stand out in both the visage and vibrancy of them.
More recent links that further work to substantiate the uniquely elevated stature of these conical hats in their essence and appeal alike happen to be a 14th century revelation that is believed to be even ‘realer’ an interpretation of these party hats. The dunce cap or sanbenito from which the cone is most appropriately thought to be descending was advocated in its wearing by the Scottish priest and philosopher John Duns Scotus who, not so surprisingly, ended up also lending his name to the same. The reason why this considerably distinguished person of the then society extended so much of his support to wearing of these hats was due to his belief that knowledge could be ‘funneled’ into the heads of the wearer through these cones. No wonder, dunce caps soon grew to became popular with wise men and thereafter with wizards, endowing an added element of charm upon these to be party specific possessions.
Interestingly the drawing upon the dunce cap as the root of the modern day party hat rests upon an exactly contradicting later proposition as well. During the times ranging from the mid 19th to the early 20th century, dunce caps were worn by ‘dunce’ kids or by schoolchildren noted for their poor performances and behavior, as a sort of identity perhaps alluding to their trait in prominence. The very evident festive vibe of the cap though indicated an overturn almost of some otherwise rather rigid norms in prevalence, marking a tremendous shift from stereotypical notions in perception and by that account perhaps provided with reasons galore to celebrate. If this indeed is part the reality of how conical hats came to be integral to parties in general and birthdays in particular, then it surely is a rather worthwhile case thankfully not lost in translation.
Less elaborately and more commonly though, the simple reason why party hats aka birthday hats make for such fun spotting instantly giving away the fun mood and festive cheer of celebrations is their tale in heightened appearance. Easily capturing of attention are these hats that endow therefore upon the wearer that status in distinction of which they are surely commanding on that special yearly recurrence of their birth date at least. Whether or not one chooses to equate this specific showering of attention to the erstwhile reputation in royal exaltation makes for a different matter though. For all its holding heads high in realisation of hearty happiness for another precious life on earth, birthday hats sure are indispensable to all celebrations as a whole.
And thus we have party hats dominating the occasion in not just birth anniversaries but also in Christmas celebrations and new year observances and today specifically in such shapes and sizes more conforming to the wider world view. Striking as a standout sight in its own right- and one that passes off as even more resoundingly royal as well- would be the crown shaped party hat or perhaps even a similarly modelled tiara exclusively for girls that makes for a case in more universality as well. With adults and older people alike more likely to sport a crown perhaps rather than the considerably childlike charm of the conical party hat, the birthday hat sure has managed to assume for itself an alternate identity that only further amps the allure of its essence. For when there’s party on the mind and birthday on the cards, one needs a crown indeed to adjust even if only for delivering the exquisite intention of their one day extra specialness across a life anyway special itself. And for those not willing to yield themselves under the weighty worth of a crown, they still have the good ol’ conical hat to ‘extracelebrate’ their parties and birthdays with!