To the general populace, a birthday, without fail, reminds everybody of a delicious treat to come. Yes, its the cake I am talking about! The idea of birthday cake traces its origin as far as the Ancient Romans, and celebrating someone’s birth with tasty treats sounds logical and fun. But you all at one point in time might have wondered what’s the point of blowing out candles and ignored the thought saying, “Let’s just follow tradition.”
Well, there are a bunch of theories flying around about the origins of birthday candles.
Some believe the tradition might have started in Ancient Greece. During those times, people used to bring cakes adorned with lit candles to the temple of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. The candles were lit to make them glow like the moon, which is a popular symbol associated with Artemis.
Also, quite a few cultures believed that smoke carried their prayers to the heavens. The present tradition of making a wish before blowing out candles might have very well originated from that belief. The smoke from the blown-out candles will carry their hopes to heaven, according to their ideas.
Others believe that the tradition of birthday candles started with the Germans. In 1746, Count Ludwig Von Zinzendorf celebrated his birthday with an extravagant festival with, of course, a cake and lots of candles: “there was a Cake as large as any Oven could be found to bake it, and Holes made in the Cake according to the Years of the Person’s Age, every one having a Candle stuck into it, and one in the Middle.”
The Germans also celebrated with birthday candles during Kinderfest, a birthday celebration for children in the 1700s. A single birthday candle was lit and placed on the cake to symbolize the “light of life.”