Someone’s birthday is the most cherished day of their life. Regardless of all the drama and chaos that takes place in a year, birthday is the day when every pain and suffering is meant to vanish. Birthdays give various reasons to a person to laugh, love, and enjoy life. It’s the D-Day when you landed on this earth to experience everything that this life has to offer. There is so much to love about your birthday. Right from candles to gifts to wishes from your loved ones everything makes this day very special. But there is one more thing that you just can’t afford to forget on birthdays, the birthday cake. The birthday cake is meant to be the highlight of the day. A birthday without a birthday cake is incomplete. This statement led us to wonder why we cut cake on a birthday or where did this birthday tradition originate from? Let’s find out.
Birthday Cake Cutting – How it all started
According to the classical Roman culture, the cakes were occasionally served to the guests as a courteous gesture on special occasions like wedding ceremonies. Initially, these cakes were made in flat circles using lots of flour, honey and nuts. During the 15th century AD, the German bakeries started creating and introducing single-layered cakes for birthday celebrations in the market. This practice of creating single-layered cakes banished the myth that a cake can only be cut on the occasion of a wedding. And that is how the tradition of cutting a cake on a birthday was born.
The History of the birthday cakes goes back to the middle ages when Germans celebrated their children’s birthdays with cakes and the celebration would be called Kinder fest. Originally, the cakes were like bread and were coarse. Later, the cakes were being made sweeter and tastier.
This birthday tradition went on like this for some time until contemporary birthday cakes were introduced. In the 17th century, the contemporary birthday cakes took the position of the modern birthday cakes in the market. These kinds of birthday cakes were multi-layered with exclusive designs and icing that made them look refreshing and amazing. But unfortunately, these cakes were only available to the rich people. In the 18th century, these birthday cakes became accessible even to the poorer section of the society because of the industrial revolution that made food and baking utensils easily available and affordable. Later in the middle of the 19th century, even the Western European Countries started cutting birthday cakes as part of their birthday tradition.
Reason Behind Blowing Candles on Birthdays?
After the birthday tradition of cutting a cake came into play, blowing the candles on a birthday followed. There are numerous theories that explain the birthday tradition of blowing the candles. One of the theories is the Greek theory that explains this birthday tradition well. According to the theory, the tradition of blowing candles on birthdays is connected to the ancient practice of lighting the candles in order to worship the birth of the Goddess Artemis.
There is one more theory that according to the Pagans, birthday candles have a symbolic power. The use of fire while doing a ritual date too long ago. It was believed in earlier times that bad spirits visit people on their birthdays. Therefore, friends and family surrounded the birthday person in order to protect them from the evil spirits. They also cheer up the birthday person and make noises in order to shoo away the evil spirits.
Another story of blowing birthday candles was originated in Switzerland in 1881. Researchers witnessed numerous superstitions and beliefs of people. One of which was to have the same number of candles as of the birthday year. These candles were then blown by the birthday person. The birthday tradition of blowing candles came into existence after all these theories were practiced. Some also believed that the person whose birthday is being celebrated makes a wish before blowing out the candles that are placed on the birthday cake.
Don’t Forget to Sing “Happy Birthday”, here’s to Why:
After all these birthday traditions, there was still one more tradition of singing ‘Happy birthday’ song that you just can’t miss. This was first started in the English-speaking countries and then spread across the world. Though, the other countries may sing it in their own language in order to make the birthday person happy. The tradition of writing the phrase Happy birthday on cakes also came into existence later.
The Birthday cake is meant to be decorated using candles, iced flowers, and ribbons. Doing icing on the cake gives an attractive look to the Birthday cake. The cake is shared among all the attending guests to represent a courteous gesture of joy and belongings. One of the funniest birthday traditions is that the birthday person has to make the wish before blowing candles out and the wish will only be heard if all the candles blow out in one breath.
There are numerous variations of a birthday cake. In China, one can see birthday cakes that are like buns made of wheat flour that is filled with lotus paste. Some Western countries like Russia serve fruit pies to the guests. The Swedish people have a different type of birthday cake, which seems like a pond that is decorated with their National Flag and marzipan toppings. In India, people also celebrate birthdays in the same manner with a cake cutting ceremony.
With evolving era of time, more and more people are accustomed to following these traditions on their birthdays. And why not? This is the day when one is entitled to feel special. People are likely to celebrate their big day with all these birthday traditions. One is entitled to cut the cake, blowing candles, and making wishes on their birthday. Though, birthday traditions have originated from some weird beliefs but have designed our birthdays in a way that we enjoy celebrating our D-day. After all, what’s a birthday without a birthday cake. Now, in the digital era you can order birthday cakes online now easily available online makes it easily accessible to the people at their fingertips. Now, one can easily find birthday cakes online that made organizing a birthday party easier.