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The Origins Of The Birthday Cake With Candles

By March 21, 2018 May 28th, 2019 No Comments
To many people, a birthday isn’t a celebration unless there is a beautifully decorated cake covered with lit candles. The tradition of receiving a cake for birthdays typically begins with the first birthday and is often continued throughout adulthood. The origin of the birthday cake with candles is said to go back as far as the Ancient Greece and has changed throughout cultures throughout history.

History of the birthday cake

The tradition of serving cake can be traced to the Roman culture, where cake-like dessert was given at special birthday celebrations and weddings. During this time, the cake was a flat circle sweetened with honey and created from nuts, flour, and yeast.

Germany introduced a birthday cake during the 15th century at the festival Kinderfest, which was a celebration of children’s birthdays. The cakes during this time were bread-like and very coarse. Sweeter cakes did not come about in this area until much later.

By the 17th century, bakeries in Germany began marketing cakes with more layers for birthdays. This concept was a big change, because until then the layered cake was only used for expensive celebrations. These early birthday cakes were much like the cakes of today with decorations and detailed icing. However, they were so expensive that only the wealthy could afford them. When the industrial revolution occurred during the 18th century, materials and goods became more widespread and birthday cakes became more affordable.

Western cultures today use cakes or pastries for birthday celebrations, and there is no one standard used. The words ‘Happy Birthday’ were not added to the cake until after the song had become popular. The song gained popularity in the 1900s and different variations exist in different cultures today. How the song is presented also varies between cultures. For example, in Ecuador, the person celebrating their birthday takes a large bite of their cake while the song is sung.

The history of putting candles on birthday cake

One theory surrounding the candles on a birthday cake goes back as far as the Ancient Greeks. It is said the Greeks created round cakes to honor the goddess, Artemis, who was the goddess of the moon. The candles, when lit, represented the moon’s glow. When they blew the candles out, they believed the smoke carried their wishes to the gods living in the sky. Another theory says that the Germans are responsible for birthday candles, as they thought them to be the ‘the light of life’.

In Western Culture today, the number of candles placed on a birthday cake represents the age of the person celebrating their birthday. It is tradition to make a silent wish before blowing out the candles, which is said to come true as long no one else is told the wish.

The cake with candles and a song wishing you a happy birthday are all part of the traditional American style celebration. However, many people are choosing from a wider variety of desserts rather than a classic cake. You can choose any type of cake or pastry from the vast varieties and flavors offered at local bakeries like cupcakes and cookies.

Custom birthday cakes and desserts at Belmar Bakery

If you are looking for a delicious birthday cake or other custom dessert, contact Belmar Bakery in Amarillo, Texas today. We specialize in decorated cakes of all sizes, flavors, and shapes to match any theme. Call us today at (806) 355-0141 or Contact Us by email for more information. We offer Breakfast and Lunch, Catering, and Desserts.You can also book a Decorating Party for birthdays, school trips, and team building. Visit us today at 3325 Bell St. in Amarillo, Texas to see how we can help you!