We all love birthday cakes and blowing out candles, but why is a birthday cake so special? I have just been reading a very interesting American blog post by Kaci Daugherty. It is entitled “Food Cultures of Birthday Celebrations,” and says that the custom of celebrating birthdays with birthday cakes:
“Originated in Greece. The cake was baked round symbolizing a full moon. The candles used to top the cake were representative of the moons glow. The full moon represented new life just like a birthday.”
Kaci goes on to describe birthday cake customs in different countries around the world. The article is fascinating.
Birthday cakes in the UK
Kaci’s description of birthday traditions in Great Britain is spot on:
“In Great Britain a person having a birthday will celebrate with a cake and candles just like the United States! They also have chocolate biscuits, Jelly and Ice cream (which is Gelatin and Ice Cream covered in tiny balls of colored sugar) and squash to drink, which is orange or lemon flavored Kool-aid made from syrup instead of powder! Talk about something unusual!”
I love the fact that, to her, our customs and traditions are unusual. This made me think it would be wonderful to hear from you, how are birthdays celebrated in your country? Take a look at her research, agree or disagree with what she says or add. The reference to fortune-telling cakes in England is not one that any of us at Lindy’s Cakes have heard of before…have you?
My daughter recently turned sweet sixteen and this is the cake she created for herself. Of course, as you’d expect, it has sixteen candles!
Hope this blog post has inspired you to find out more about our birthday cake traditions.