I ran into an oddball issue with my wife’s iPhone 4 Birthday Calendar. The birthdays were still showing “Last Name First Name’s Birthday” (Smith Joe’s 38th Birthday) on a date in the calendar app instead of the display order that was newly set for the contacts app “First Name, Last Name.” I tried toggling on / off the iCloud calendar, the birthday calendar, sort orders and display orders. Nothing seemed to work, until I finally tried one last sequence!
If you are having problems with your iPhone birthday calendar’s display order, try this fix:
- Close all of your apps (double-click the home screen and kill everything). It’s probably not a necessary step, but I like to work with a “clean” phone.
- Open a contact with a birthday.
- Change the birthday (I changed the year) and save the contact.
- Check the calendar, your birthday calendar events now display in the proper order.
- Change the birthday (I changed the year back to the proper one) you edited to the proper birthday and save the contact again.
- Everything should still display properly on the birthday calendar!
I’m sure this is a rare issue, but I hope it helps anyone that runs into the problem! You can also find the discussion, where I posted this answer originally, on the Apple Support Communities Forum.