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¡Hurra! Pirate Themed Birthday Party

Pirate Themed Birthday Party
Pointe Viven - Jesse Bluma. All rights reserved.

A pirate themed birthday party can be just as playful to create as to attend.  My sister created a pirate themed party for my nephew's birthday.  The pirate centerpiece was courtesy of my aunt that has always included great props and decorations in her parties and dinners.  You might have seen her seafood dinner featured in the Orange County Register a long time ago, complete with dry ice fog, real live recorded ocean sounds, and sea themed tablescapes.  The treasure map cupcakes below were made with licorice to mark the treasure spot, a pirate flag, cocktail swords, and dots of frosting.  My sister and cousin created the ones pictured here.   

Ten Pirate Facts

A few intriguing facts about historical and modern piracy.  If you are throwing a pirate party you could read these with your children for a bit of background, these could be made into a trivia game for the party, or could give you some other ideas of things to include for your party.  

1.  "In the 16th and 17th centuries, monarchs frustrated by Spain's dominance of the Caribbean commissioned privateers to harass the Spanish fleet—helping to usher in piracy's golden age, when swashbuckling marauders like Edward (Blackbeard) Teach roamed the sun-splashed islands, plundering gold and silver."

2.  "Pirates have plagued seafarers for millennia. Homer and Cicero noted incidents involving ancient Greek and Roman mariners, and Western Europeans weathered Viking onslaughts during the Middle Ages."

3.  "Pirates, corsairs and buccaneers are commonly lumped together as one and the same, although they mean different things. Corsairs were pirates who operated exclusively in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, while buccaneers, or “boucaniers” were actually runaway sailors and deserters who made their way to the waters of the Caribbean Sea, where they kept themselves alive by roasting stolen cattle on makeshift grills called 'boucans' by the French."

4.  "The vast majority of pirates, although they could not be described as kind, were more than fair in their treatment of their crew and their captives. In fact, most pirate crews operated under a code of rules and laws referred to as “articles” that were remarkably democratic. Since most pirates came from mutinous crews of naval warships and merchant vessels, they had no desire to return to the often-tyrannical rule of a ship’s captain. Instead, most pirate captains achieved their command by vote."

5.  "One of the most famous privateers of the Revolutionary War was a former sailor in the Continental Navy named Joshua Barney. While in command he sunk or captured many English raiders and ships of war, attaining a fair amount of personal wealth while doing so. It is this personal wealth that often made the deciding factor between joining the Navy and becoming a privateer. Privateers ‘combined patriotism with the hope of profit’."

6.  "A British couple was attacked, in Summer 1996, while sailing around Corfu Island (Greece) with assault rifles and grenades, months earlier armed men attacked tanker Succi when she was only few hours from Singapore. The pirates tied up the crew and put it in a life boat and sailed off. The crew was rescued but the tanker disappeared."

7.  "Barbery pirates were any of the Muslim pirates operating from the coast of North Africa. Captains, who formed a class in Algiers and Tunis, commanded cruisers outfitted by wealthy backers, who then received 10 percent of the value of the prizes."

8.  "Polycrates (Greek tyrant) seized control of the city of Samos during a celebration of a festival of Hera outside the city walls. After eliminating his two brothers, who had at first shared his power, he established despotism, and ships from his 100-vessel fleet committed acts of piracy that made him notorious throughout Greece."

9.  "Benito de Soto was one of the most feared and ruthless pirates, which positively accounts for the stories and legends that surround him. De Soto began his career as a Portuguese slaver after leaving his home in Galacia, a province of Spain, for Brazil, already trained as a mariner. It was there that he signed on to the Defense de Pedro, a ship headed to Africa. The purpose of the trip was to smuggle slaves in large numbers, more than would be available to a normal trader, and given the tone of the trip, attracted men of questionable character and status."

10.  "In 1701 the war of Spanish Succession began and the buccaneers stopped capturing ships and went to war with France and Britain against their enemy, the Spanish.  When the War of Spanish Succession was over the buccaneers had no jobs, so they became pirates again.  They began to attack Spanish fleets of treasure ships that brought supplies from Europe and treasure back home."

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