Why do we cut cakes on birthdays: The tradition, history and reason of the birthday celebrations, unfolded

A birthday is one of the most happy and cherished days of the year for a person either 15 or 50. It is a really special day for the birthday guy or girl. And why shouldn’t it be one? There is so much to remember too on this day starting from candles, lights, balloons, good food, the crazy fun, the many gifts and wishes of your loved ones all of which give you multiple reasons to feel blessed in millions of ways. We all like the festivities and the fun mood of a birthday but is a birthday worth that celebration without a cake? A birthday celebration is thought to be incomplete without the coveted birthday cake with candles. We may sometimes wonder amidst that fun and frolic, the loud music playing in the backdrop, friends clapping and ready to dance and all that hooplahoo why do we cut cakes on our birthdays along with blowing candles and celebrate the event so cheerfully?

History of cake cutting: Deliciously Yours

The history of cutting cakes harks back to the time before recorded history. And this ceremony finds it’s origins in western culture. In the ancient Greek history people burned candles as a way of giving offerings to their deities. The Greeks baked round honey cakes as a symbol of the moon and topped them with candles to pay tribute to the birth of their moon Goddess, Artemis on the sixth day of every lunar month. These lit candles were added on the cake to represent the reflected moonlight because it was believed that the smoke emitting from the candles had the power to carry prayers to Gods. The ancient Greeks made cakes or rather bread mixed with honey and nuts on birthdays which was called ‘Plakous’ which is the origin of the word ‘flat’.

And according to traditional Roman culture the cake and it’s cutting held gestural importance.In the 15th century Germany had a tradition of baking one-layered cakes These cakes were shaped flat with a lot of nuts and flour sweetened with honey and leavened using yeast. This continued for a while till the introduction of the contemporary birthday cake which became multilayered with icing and beautiful decorations giving it a wonderful look.

Importance of the b-b-b-birthday cake: The special attraction to keep you hooked

 Birthday cakes with lots of candles are an indispensable part of a birthday celebration which add the needed glory to the mood, the party and spirits too.They are considered a major part of the celebrations because of their sweetness which is considered auspicious and the fact that sugar can help the body absorb Tryptophan, an important amino acid which helps to produce Serotonin which keeps us happy,up and going.

Blow the candle please….the importance of the candle on the cake

After the coming of cakes candles followed in suit.The Greeks lighted the candles to honor the birth of God.For religious reasons Germans placed a large candle in the centre of the cake to symbolize ‘the light of life’.And the power of fire was considered to protect from the evil spirit around.So blowing out candles was a good omen and brought in positive vibes for the birthday person and the family.On a birthday the family and friends made merry by making noises to keep away the spirit.We put candles on cakes which hold some superstitious beliefs even now.It is believed that the birthday boy or girl must make a silent wish before blowing out the candles.If all the candles are blown out in one breath the wish will come true and the person will have good luck all the year round.

A sweet birthday cake song for you all…..

The birthday song,’happy birthday to you’ became popular in English speaking countries in the early 1900s and soon this phrase got written on cakes.In China,guests are served with a small piece instead of a large cake.In Russia guests are served fruit pies with greetings on birthdays.


Today we celebrate the birthdays of mostly children when it all began with the German Kinder fest in the 15th century. The event was celebrated with lots of fun and the topping of cakes with special birthday candles each one symbolizing one year of the child’s life and one more hoping for the betterment of the child’s future. According to the traditions the child was supposed to blow out the candles after making a wish. And this tradition is still doing fine. We all have adopted this western tradition of celebrating the birthdays with cakes and candles and we are surely loving it. We all like to see friend’s, relatives and loved ones gather together and spend a fun time with the special birthday person. The environment is all geared up with everyone dancing, singing, enjoying and having a gala time and the ritual of cake cutting, blowing the candle and even cake smashing adds the needed charm to the festivity making it enjoyable and an event close to your heart and one which stays in your memory forever.

Published by ambikajha

I am Ambika Jha.I like to write on different topics.I feel life is too short for anything.So let us work our best in the given time and let life's music be in rhythm and rhyme.So be your best and never stop to learn and write.

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