Birthday Cakes-Celebrating our life.
The ancient Egyptians are credited with “inventing” the celebration of birthdays.
They believed when pharaohs were crowned, they became gods, so their coronation day was a pretty big deal. That was their “birth” as a god.
Ancient Greeks borrowed the tradition, but rightfully realized that a dessert would make the celebration all the more meaningful.
So they baked moon-shaped cakes to offer up to Artemis, goddess of the moon, as tribute.
They decorated them with lit candles to make the cakes shine like the moon.
Hence, the reason we light our birthday cakes on fire.
It is commonly held that the first actual birthday cakes were made in Germany in the Middle Ages. The Germans would celebrate children’s birthdays with cake, calling the celebration Kinderfest.
The phrase “Happy Birthday” did not appear on birthday cakes until the song “Happy Birthday to You” was popularized in the early 1900s.”
Variations of birthday songs and rituals exist in different parts of the world. In Uruguay, party guests touch the person’s shoulder or head following the singing of “Happy Birthday to You”.
In Ecuador, the person whose birthday it is will take a large bite of the birthday cake before it is served.
In Peru, guests use to sing “Happy Birthday to You” first in English with the name of the individual whose birthday it is, then in Spanish, later they sing any other song in Spanish regarding cake or date, finally blowing candles and serving the cake.
These days, the birthday cake is there to enjoy – especially the blowing out the candles bit- and for the most part we all enjoy a piece of birthday cake on the day and sometimes for days to come!