A 21st Birthday Celebration Key Tradition

by 
The Celebrate Team

There's a unique tradition in many countries (e.g. UK and Australia) when someone reaches the age of 21. There's a key involved. Mostly a symbolic gesture that announces the arrival of a "key" moment in one's life, it may appear strange to some, but once you grasp the concept, it becomes meaningful. Would you like to learn more? Read on!

21 birthday celebration ey tradition

Young adults from different countries celebrate 21st birthdays with a gusto equaled to none! The celebration is an epic moment in someone’s life as they become a young adult and begin to enjoy a new level of freedom (and responsibility). 

While a birthday cake is always a tasty gesture, the true sweet treat on the 21st birthday is to become a key holder. The prestigious milestone is consequential as a child becomes a responsible adult, and the key symbolizes the opening of doors to the world. 

There are many different ways to say Happy Birthday, but how do you keep the tradition perpetuating when celebrating a 21st?

Origin of 21st Birthday Key Tradition

origin of 21 birthday key tradition

The keys tradition of the milestone birthday dates back to medieval history when a young page became eligible to be dubbed a knight at — you guessed it — their 21st birthdays!

Society has evolved since medieval times. For a long while, twenty one was considered the legal age signifying the reaching of adulthood and independence — when you can legally purchase alcohol and tobacco and could officially own land, make a will, and vote. 

Most importantly, it was the age when your parents treated you with the gift of the key to the family home — welcome to adulthood!

Parents gift the key to the family home

The age of independence has since been lowered to 18, but the tradition of inheriting the key to THE home has persisted. With most people leaving home after school and paving their way to success, the symbolism of a 21st birthday tradition continues to carry value, thus celebrating the special milestone.

Why Celebrate a 21st Birthday With a Key?

Celebrating a 21st birthday with the traditional key honors the birthday person’s arrival at adulthood and independence. Reaching twenty one is an occasion to be celebrated. And the key symbolizes their maturity and the joy of arriving at the next stage of life. 

There are many wonderful birthday gift ideas. But for this particularly uniquely occasion, none can compare with the symbolism and thoughtfulness of a 21st key. 

There are different ways to celebrate and capture the true essence of the key, honoring the tradition, and especially adding a little bit of fun to the 21st birthday celebration. 

Here are just a few ways ways to incorporate the key when celebrating a 21st birthday;

Pass down a 21st key that has been kept in the family

If you’re lucky enough to have a key passed down from a previous generation, then the symbolism becomes much greater when passed down to the birthday person. As a mother hands her daughter the key, she’s welcoming her into adulthood (and all the awaiting adventures). 

Host a ceremonial handover at the birthday bash

Nothing can quite compare to the festivity of a 21st birthday party that includes delicious snacks, refreshing drinks, heartfelt speeches, and music inspiring all to loosen up on the dance floor. Amplify the sentiment in a short ceremony by handing over the 21st key, complete with heartfelt words and a raise of the champagne glass.

Buy a piece of jewelry with a key pendant

key pendant

The 21st key can be incorporated into a beautiful piece of jewelry to be worn out for the world to see, reminding all of the milestone. The pendant can dangle on a delicate chain, be pinned as a broach, or appear as a charm on a bracelet — endless options!

Personalize a wood carving 

It’s time to test your creative side! Another popular option for 21st birthday ideas includes a key carved out of wood. The result is a unique key carved with love and care that can hung in the home. If woodcarving is not your forte, hire a professional.😀

Craft a decorative key

Are you looking for a unique 21st-key idea? There are no boundaries to the tradition, so you can let your imagination run wild. For example, dangle a key in a vintage bottle or set an antique key in a frame. 

Make It Memorable With Celebrate

Giving someone a 21st birthday key is a guaranteed way to bring a smile to your loved one’s face. However, we can’t always be with our special people, and you may have to send a birthday key in the mail. 

But no need to search for something to do that for you. Celebrate offers the perfect way to connect with the birthday boy or girl and wish them a happy 21st birthday!

A 21st birthday video message is a creative and meaningful gift that is heartfelt, fun, and full of personality. As far as fun ideas for 21st birthday celebrations go — a video message is right up there with the best of them!

Videos are unforgettable keepsakes and will stay with them for the rest of their lives (just like the key). A video message is something that they can bring out in the future and delight their own children on their 21st birthday, helping them connect with their kids in a nostalgic way.

Celebrate creates an impactful group video in a few easy steps in a seamless and affordable process. If you’re wondering where to begin, consider the following great ideas to include a 21st birthday video message;

  • Wish the individual a happy birthday and congratulate them for reaching the milestone
  • Ensure family members and friends are part of the merriment
  • As there's a key involved, the family's home should be a great venue
  • Include a funny birthday message to lighten the mood
  • Recap important moments you’ve shared
  • Use photographs and pictures
  • Perhaps some music and GIFs?
  • Film against a meaningful or fun backdrop

Compile a 21st Birthday Video With Celebrate

Celebrate is free to get started and easy to include friends and family. The birthday message can be recorded on any device, and the app collects and collates videos and photos seamlessly. 

What are you waiting for? It’s time to start a 21st birthday tradition with Celebrate! Create an account with Celebrate today!

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Hear from loved ones, capture the moment, relive them forever.

Get started for FREE