A candle-lit birthday cake is carried into a dimly lit room where friends and family sing “Happy Birthday”. The birthday boy’s face glows when the cake is placed on the table. With a moment’s pause to close their eyes, with desire on their lips and a deep breath, they blow out the candles on the cake. Blowing out candles on a birthday cake is a tradition that has existed since time immemorial.
Although it began with a superstitious belief that the smoke from candles would convey wishes to the gods, these days we blow out the candles because it’s part of our birthday celebrations. It’s fun and we love to prank our friends who are celebrating their birthday with magic candles. However, even today we believe that if a person blows out all the candles on the cake and keeps his desire a secret, then the wish of the birthday man will come true.
Even though everyone seems to be familiar, the connection between candles and birthdays is not familiar to everyone. The earliest stories about candles and cakes are from the ancient Greeks. Once a month, the Greeks celebrated the birth of Artemis by making round cakes, and lit candles were placed on them. Artemis is the goddess of the moon. The round cakes represented the moon, while the candles were supposed to represent the reflected moonlight. It was believed that the smoke carries wishes and prayers to the heavenly gods.