As it turns out, putting candles on birthday cakes is a tradition that has been around for a very long time. This can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who often burned candles as offerings to their many gods and goddesses. For the ancient Greeks, putting candles on a cake was a special way to pay homage to the Greek goddess of the moon, Artemis. They baked round cakes symbolizing the moon. Candles were added to represent reflected moonlight.
Candles on cakes have long been a popular tradition in Germany. For religious reasons, the Germans put a large candle in the center of the cake, symbolizing the “light of life.” Some scholars believe that another meaning was attached to the use of candles on cakes. People may have believed that the smoke from the candles carried their wishes and prayers to the gods living in the sky. Others probably believed that the smoke helped ward off evil spirits.
Today we still put birthday candles on cakes. Many still hold superstitious ideas about them too. For example, many people believe that a person (or website!) who has a birthday today should make a silent wish before blowing out the candles. If all the candles are blown out in one breath, then the wish will come true, and the person will be lucky throughout the year. On the other hand, if it takes more than one breath to blow out all the candles, or if a person tells someone about his desire, it supposedly will not come true.