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Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Are Birthday Cakes Made Of?

A decorated birthday cakeImage via Wikipedia
By Jane Ritter

Blowing the candles off a birthday cake is the most special event of any birthday celebration. Everyone is made anxious by it, and the birthday celebrant just can't wait to utter a wish and put off the candles in hopes of making the wish come true. How did the birthday cake tradition begin? Why not put cathedral windows jell-o instead? Such a trivial thing perhaps, but there are truths surrounding the birthday cake that is worth note-taking.

Let's first take a delicious tour of the various kinds of birthday cakes. Birthday cakes come with a range of sizes, shapes, designs, flavours according to the specific requests of the celebrant. As long as there is place for candles, usually beside the cake toppers, guests will most happily like a delightful birthday cake.

According to a report, the making of birthday cakes began when the Greeks presented Artemis, the Goddess of Moon, round-shaped cakes made of special flour and grains, which imitated the shape of the moon.

Later on, during the Middle Ages in Germany, birthday cakes started to become a home tradition and became symbolic of commemoration of the natal day of a person, and of a baby in particular.

Among Americans and Europeans, the birthday cake candles denote a person's age, thus, there are stick candles for kids and the number candles for adults. Candles are kids' favourites because they with much anticipation count the years added up to their age, and with that, have a notion of growing more into maturity and freedom. Pushing towards teenage years, birthday candles no longer bear the literal meaning of birthday years, but serve more as decoration and a way to make a juvenile wishes come true. The candle light symbolizes wisdom and direction in the present and future years ahead.

Another perspective leads us to the notion that our ancestors thought that smoke emitted from a put-out candle would rise to the heavens and reach the gods, and carry with it our most fervent wishes.

Now that you have a clearer understanding of the tradition that is blowing your birthday cake candle, you can have a better enjoyment of it, seeing its meaning in your life.

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