As the Indian economy skyrockets to new levels, so do the price tags of kids' birthday parties, the Washington Post reports. The celebrations are providing a golden opportunity for parents to showcase their little darlings—and their new prosperity. Some predict the birthday hoopla—complete with party planners, catered halls, merry-go-rounds and elephant and camel rides—will soon rival the lucrative Indian wedding industry.
"The birthday is the new wedding in India," gushes one party planner whose business has doubled in the last several years. Banks have even begun to offer low-interest loans to parents spending thousands on parties, even for 2-year-olds. Despite the opulence for some, India is still home to the largest number of people living on $1 a day.