Question: What is a Sarah Birthday? What is the Netherlands Sarah 50th Birthday Tradition?
Answer: A tradition that hails from the Netherlands, the 'Sarah birthday' is celebrated when a woman turns 50 and becomes a 'Sarah' -- old enough and wise enough to have 'seen Sarah,' the biblical figure and wife of Abraham. (When a man turns 50, he is an Abraham, old enough to have 'seen Abraham.') Typically there's a large party to celebrate this significant birthday.
Other traditions associated with the Sarah birthday include placing a Sarah doll or figure in the front yard of the 'birthday girl' that is dressed/decorated by family to represent her life and interests; baking a Sarah cake, bread or cookie in the shape of a female figure and sharing it with others; and visits by well-wishers dressed as Sarahs who hide their identity beneath costumes and masks.
Unlike other cultures in which those who celebrate their 50th birthday are seen as "over the hill," the Sarah tradition in the Netherlands honors a woman gaining wisdom through experience and is a major birthday that many look forward to.