Daily Archives: June 10, 2010

Why do we put Candles on our Birthday Cakes?

In ancient times it was common to believe that birthdays were a time of potential danger.  This originated within Greek culture, where both birth and birthdays were regarded as a time when the Gods may take your soul.

Consequently, when a Greek child had a birthday, s/he was given a little cake with a Candle.  The gods were asked for protection and the candle was then blown out.  The Greeks believed that the smoke from the candle would carry the message to the gods and the child would be spared to continue living.

Worshipers at the temple of Artemis, the moon goddess, used to make offerings of cakes decorated with circles of candles; the ring of light represented the full moon. Hundreds of years later, Germans would put a single candle on a birthday cake, to represent the life spirit. Sometimes they would mark off the candles in segments, symbolizing the passage of the year.
This tradition has survived to present day culture, where candles are still placed on a birthday cake, many cultures believe the smoke from the candles carry your wish up to heaven.

Modern day birthday celebrations include candles on the birthday cake, and when you blow them all out in one breath and make a wish, it is rumored your wish will come true.  Did you wish on your last Birthday?

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!