The major birthday where you're from?

mgargan1

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Original poster
Feb 22, 2003
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Reston, VA
In the US, the major birthday is the 21st (that's when we can drink). When is the major birthday from people around the world?
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2002
587
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England
It used to be 21 in the UK and still is for some people, but I think most people now consider 18 to be the big one. Thats also when we can drink... :D

I seem to remember that drank 10 pints of beer on my 18th birthday and I was sick. ha!
 

SFVCyclone

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Feb 24, 2005
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Pasadena, Ca
it's funny cause here in the U.S. its first 18 but then you get there and you think you still cant do a thing, so you really look forward to 21.
 

andrewfee

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2004
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It really depends on what you're wanting to do. In the UK you can drink legally at 16, if it was purchased for you by someone over 18. You're not allowed to buy the drinks yourself until your 18 though. You can legally have sex at 16, but I believe it's 18 if you're gay. (that may have been changed recently, I don't really know)
You can get a drivers license at 17, although there are talks of moving it up to 18. (I'd prefer 21; too many young idiots driving about too fast these days - I'm almost 19, so I wouldn't say I'm biased)

Edit: but yeah, I suppose 18 is considered your "major" birthday.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
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Zero, the year of birth, is considered pretty special too!

Are there countries/cultures where you are considered one year old upon birth, instead of zero? I remember reading that once.
 

mgargan1

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Original poster
Feb 22, 2003
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Reston, VA
dobbin said:
It used to be 21 in the UK and still is for some people, but I think most people now consider 18 to be the big one. Thats also when we can drink... :D

I seem to remember that drank 10 pints of beer on my 18th birthday and I was sick. ha!
I'm surprised that you remember your birthday then. I certainly only remember parts of mine... haha, i remember waking up naked in the bathtub filled with water. That was a goooood 21st birthday
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
andrewfee said:
It really depends on what you're wanting to do. In the UK you can drink legally at 16, if it was purchased for you by someone over 18. You're not allowed to buy the drinks yourself until your 18 though.
Not true. You can have a drink with a meal when you're 16 that someone else has bought. It has to be beer or cider (wine is allowed in Scotland) but they can't just buy you a vodka in a bar.

Link to lots of UK legal rights regarding age
 

sebisworld

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2003
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It could be 16 or 18 in Germany. 16 is drinking and (sadly) smoking age, but no one gives a crap about age limitations. So it is probably 18 (driving age).
In Iceland I think it is 20 (drinking age).
 

dvdh

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Apr 6, 2004
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I was born in Manitoba (Canada) where the "drinking age" is 18. Now I live in Ontario where it is 19 (thank goodness I moved after I turned 19). Oddly enough, any event on Parliament Hill (federal property) goes by a federal age of 18 as opposed to Ontario's 19.

Question: do people actually act more responsibly because they can't drink until an old age, or is someone just dreaming in thinking that it makes a difference? Certainly there is a valid argument to suggest that if someone is raised with an awareness to alcohol from a younger age (say they start drinking wine with meals at 12) they are less likely to abuse the new found "freedom" of being able to binge when they hit the legal age sometime during their 'liberation from parental authority' college/university years.

Edit: I got my 'learners' driving license at 15.5 in Manitoba, and full license at 16.
 

tech4all

macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
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NorCal
Well not sure about drinking, but in Mexico when a girl reaches 15 years of age it is celebrated with a Quinceanera.
 

homerjward

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May 11, 2004
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fig tree
im surprised noone's mentioned this: 62. social security bitches!! lol, but seriously, ima have to go with 16 cause of driving. drinking's officially 21, but you can drink underage a lot easier than drive underage--get pulled over and you're screwed but get someone to buy you beer and get wasted at your/someone's house:p not that i do though....errm...17's good too. your stupid parents who barely let you buy m games and NO r movies purdy much have to **** about it then. don't get me started on graduated driver's licenses. so confusing and stupid!
 

DeSnousa

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2005
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Brisbane, Australia
In Australia it's 18 yrs old, in Germany i believe it's 15yrs, a exchange student told me this. From my parents country Portugal its 18yrs old but my 6yr old cousine would go to pubs all over the place to get booze for my uncle.
 

AliensAreFuzzy

macrumors 68000
May 30, 2004
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Madison, WI
Well, This is a little different, but here in Wisconsin a lot of people celebrate their golden birthday. That's when your # of years equals the day of the month you were born. So like mine would be my 25th birthday because I was born on October 25th. But 21 is a big one too. It is Wisconsin, some towns have more bars than people :rolleyes:
 

dubbz

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2003
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Alta, Norway
Doctor Q said:
Zero, the year of birth, is considered pretty special too!

Are there countries/cultures where you are considered one year old upon birth, instead of zero? I remember reading that once.
How does that work? At most, the child whould be 9 months...

Anyway, in Norway it whould be 18. You can do pretty much everything at that age... the exceptions being that you can't drive really big trucks, nor buy certain types of alchohol until you're 21. (I'm not really 100% sure about those two, though..). The big thing about 18 is probably that you can drive at that age. It's what everyone talk about. You can buy alchohol too, but that doesn't stop anyone from getting at when they're younger, so it really doesn't matter.
 

Diatribe

macrumors 601
Jan 8, 2004
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Back in the motherland
sebisworld said:
It could be 16 or 18 in Germany. 16 is drinking and (sadly) smoking age, but no one gives a crap about age limitations. So it is probably 18 (driving age).
You mean smoking age as in "hey my friends all smoke so I can too and I don't care if I am only 11"? The mean starting age of smoking in Germany is 11! So I guess that'd be special. :D
Anyway, 18 is the big one here where you et all the big presents and most people a car.
 

Les Kern

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Apr 26, 2002
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Alabama
In France kids can drink wine, at home, at any age. What goes well with Strained peas? A nice Boujolais I think.
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
Eighteen seems to be the big milestone here because you're considered a legal adult.

21's a biggy cause you can drink - well legally.
 

zudo

macrumors member
Apr 7, 2005
33
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UK
I'm really suprised that no-one has mentioned that you can vote in the uk once you're 18. 18 is the age when you become legally responsible as an adult so you can go to jail at that point too (rather than some juvenile detention centre or something). It did used to be 21 many years ago.

I guess drinking IS more exciting than voting :)
 

Davito

macrumors member
Jun 16, 2004
63
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Zurich, Switzerland
skunk said:
You're not really considered French until the liver damage kicks in.
Actually the French have the highest life expectancy in Europe. Some say, it's because they drink wine every day, but in quite small amounts, like one glass at dinner or so...
 

tpjunkie

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2002
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NYC
Good point, voting age in america is also 18, along with being a legal adult (who cannot legally drink in any of the 50 states or Washington DC). You can also get cigarettes, lotto tickets and porn. You can gamble in casinos where alcohol is not served on the floor (Mostly on reservations).

Then of course you've got your 21st. I don't remember much of mine, but from what I can recall, it was a hell of a lot of fun, and I didn't throw up or get sick.