Blowing out birthday candles is an annual ritual we enjoy doing, often encouraged to make a wish as we do so - but what exactly does this act symbolize and where does its tradition stem from?
Candles on cakes first became common practice in ancient Greece. Round cakes baked to honor Artemis, the goddess of the moon, would feature lit candles as symbols to represent her glowing. According to Greek beliefs, smoke from these candles carried mortal prayers and wishes straight up into heaven-dwelling gods.
According to legend, it was believed that malevolent spirits visited people celebrating their birthday with the intention of taking away their soul. These spirits could be dispelled with special songs or noise and by keeping the party fun for everyone involved; hence the modern practice of singing happy birthday to loved ones has its origins here.
Some superstitions may have faded with time, while others still hold firm today. One popular belief holds that failing to blow out all your candles in one breath means your wish won't come true; also it is wise to be extra cautious when placing candles on cakes as these flames may burn quickly and become extinguished before your wish has even had time to materialize.
Thoughtfully wishing is also considered essential when making birthday wishes. Telling anyone your wish before it has been fulfilled may prevent its fulfillment from coming true; keeping these traditions alive will add more special memories for many and help make birthday celebrations extra joyous!
Today, birthday cake candles come in all forms imaginable - short taper candles that flow into the frosting or numeral-shaped ones for decoration are common options; edible ones, chocolate-dipped ones, animal shapes and other popular objects may also make an appearance! There are even magical "trick" candles which relight after they have been blown out! It makes the experience very enjoyable!
Whatever their significance, birthday candles have become an indispensable component of celebrating birthdays across the globe. Now a beloved tradition that may continue to adapt as our lifestyles and technology changes. We hope you enjoyed learning the history behind these unique, flame-tipped pieces of wax; they make great additions to any celebratory dessert and are an ideal way to commemorate your birthday celebration!