Why we use candles and cake in our birthday?

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3 years ago
Topics: Facts, History, Culture

In the following article, I will discuss the possible origins of the birthday cake and I want to see where the tradition of dying candles comes from.

One of the traditions around the world is eating cakes and blowing out candles on birthdays. This event, which occurs only once a year, has an unknown origin, but there are theories that may explain why the candle was used on the cake and what it meant to die. There are legends that say this tradition originated in Germany in the 18th century and its purpose was to celebrate the birth of children to keep their souls safe. Some claim that the tradition of blowing out the candle is derived from a cult associated with the goddess Artemis in ancient Greece to celebrate her birth.

There are different ways to celebrate a birthday in every culture and era. However, the general shape of all of them is the same, which is done by placing one or more candles on a cake or a sweet treat. The number of candles indicates the number of years the person for whom the celebration was held has lived. This person must blow out the candles to fulfill his wish or end the celebration.

In the past, cakes were baked for the birthdays of certain people

Birthday cakes were common in ancient Rome, but were made into a flat, round sponge cake. It was in the 15th century in Germany that confectioners began producing single-layer cakes to celebrate their customers' birthdays.

In the 17th century, multi-layered cakes and cream decorations were found that were prepared for people of the upper classes of society. After the Industrial Revolution, these cakes were no longer produced for all classes of society; And in the mid-nineteenth century, these cakes became part of birthday celebrations in several European countries.

The death of candles and birthday celebrations was reserved for the Greek gods and heroes

In ancient Egypt, birthday celebrations were reserved for courtiers. This tradition found its way into the Greeks, who celebrated the birth of their gods. The most popular of these festivals belonged to the Greek goddess Artemis. The ancient Greeks baked a cake to worship Artemis on the sixth day of each month and decorated it with lighted candles. This custom later became part of the birthday celebrations of Greek heroes, aristocrats and nobles.

The tradition of lighting candles can be associated with some ancient rituals in which fire is used to ward off evil spirits. These spirits were thought to come to people on their birthdays, so they entertained those spirits and protected themselves from all evil spirits by making noise.

The Germans used the tradition of blowing out candles at children's birthday parties to preserve their spirits

It was in the 18th century that the tradition of blowing out candles to celebrate children's birthdays began in Germany. Each time a child was one year older, they were taken to a hall-like space so that the adults could take care of their souls. According to a document written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the great German writer describing the birthday cake, the number of candles on the cake represented the age of the person for whom the celebration was held. There is also a book from 1753 in which the candles are said to be lit and placed on the edge of the cake, around a single candle that was placed in the center.

The death of the candle is associated with other beliefs and traditions

In 1883 in Switzerland, each birthday cake candle represented another year of life. However, all the candles died not all at once, but one by one, until all the other candles were extinguished.

These days it is customary in many countries to make a wish before the candles die. But in order for this wish to come true, one has to blow out all the candles at once. The details or shape of birthday cakes may vary from region to region. For this reason, in China, they make a round bread with flour and wheat, which is filled with lotus dough. In South Korea, seaweed is eaten instead of cake soup; And in the Netherlands they make fruit tarts with whipped cream.


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3 years ago
Topics: Facts, History, Culture