A good thread with a suggestion which can bring different views. But it took me to read the post to the last line to connect with the title.
Birthday parties and bashes have become a status statement even amongthe middle class, of late.Though traditionalists and purists still view these with some consternation, they also fall into the deep trap when the requests and demand come from their children or grandchildren .
Birthdays of chidren were 'celebrated' by parents in early days by visiting temple taking the birthday kid also and praying there for the health and longevity of the child. Affordable and simple offerings are made there. Sometimes special pujas like Ayushya Suktam or Ayush homam are conducted at home or temple. The child is given new dress to wear on that day. Then a special lunch is prepared at home with addiional dishes and one or two sweets. The birthday child is to pay respects and prostrate before the elders in the home and get their blesings. All members will sit together and take the lunch. Sometimes the neighbouring children are also called for the lunch. Otherwise the sweets are shared with neighbours.
Children used to celebrate the birtday of their parents and elders by visting them, coming home for that day from wherever they were, and paying respects. The children will arrange for poojas and offerings at temples for the health and longevity of the parents.
There never was any bash or flamboyant parties in those times. That is all modern and following wesern customs.
While the current situation has made a rethink among people to go back to the healthy and good old life styles,that can be done with regard to birthday and other celebrations too. Banning will not be practical and will invite strong objections.