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The Importance of Having a Birthday Cake

Updated on January 8, 2017
Birthday cake
Birthday cake | Source

The birthday cake has its origins in ancient times and throughout the ages many beliefs and traditions have been associated with the birthday cake. Is it necessary to have cake on your birthday? It is not necessary, but it is an essential part of tradition, for some cultures, of celebrating an important milestone in one's life.

I never missed having a birthday cake from as far back as I can remember. My aunt was an expert cake maker and whenever I spent the holidays with my grandparents she always baked me a cake for my birthday with the most beautiful icing. I can smell the icing and see the colors to this day. But even when my aunt wasn't around, my parents kept up the tradition of making a cake for all the children on their birthdays. Having a birthday cake is the highlight of any birthday party and can be made in several forms.

Round Birthday Cake
Round Birthday Cake | Source

Birthday Cakes come in many shapes and sizes

The birthday cake can be traced back to ancient Greece. In those days the birthday cake was made round in the shape of a moon and was taken to the temple of Artemis, Artemis was the Godess of moon and the cake was a symbol of the moon. The origin of the birthday cake has also been attributed to Germany in the Middle ages and was originally meant to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Today, the birthday cake is not only round but can take different shapes. You can make or purchase birthday cakes that are square, oblong, retangular, and pretty much any shape you can think of. As long as there is someplace to put the icing and the candles, there is no limit to what a birthday cake can look like.

Blowing out the candles
Blowing out the candles | Source

Birthday Cake Candles

A birthday cake is not a birthday cake without candles. While as we get older, the number of candles dimminish, nevertheless, even one candle is important. While candles are placed on birthday cakes today, in medieval times in England other symbolic objects were placed on the birthday cake including rings and coins. Birthday candles in Western and other cultures symbolize the number of birthdays a person is celebrating, however, as one becomes older, it becomes increasingly difficult to fit all the candles of one's birthdays on one cake. Regardless of a person,s age, the birthday cake is an important symbol celebrating another year of life.whether you are 80 years and use 8 candles of 1 year old and use 1 candle.

Of course, the fewer the candles on the birthday cake, the easier it is to blow them out in one breath. According to tradition, one should try to blow out all candles at once. You make a wish before blowing out the candles and if you blow them out all at once, your wish is supposed to come true and you will have good luck all through the coming year.

Themed Birthday cake
Themed Birthday cake | Source

The birthday cake today is is a celebration of life. It has changed dramaticlly over the the years but remains an important addition to any birthday celebration. A child can live out their fantacies through birthday cakes, whether it is a Superman or a football themed cake. Even adults can enjoy their own themed birthday cake. How about a golf or racing birthday cake? For girls, a Barbie cake is sure to leave a lasting impression. The birthday cake is an important symbol of love, celebration and life.

Birthday Cake

What is your favourite birthday cake?

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    • Joan King profile image

      Joan King 5 years ago

      Thanks Joe. I enjoy seeing others eat them.

    • Joe Macho profile image

      Zach 5 years ago from Colorado

      Great hub. I'm not really one for birthday cake, but I sure did enjoy learning the origins of this tradition. Thanks for sharing.