Celebrating birthdays is a practice that dates back thousands of years. One tasty part of that celebration that adults and children alike look forward to is the cake lit with candles. While birthday cakes are delicious and fun, there’s a lot of history behind this tradition that made it what it is today. Learn about the history and meaning behind these cakes for the next time you buy one for a friend or family member.
The History of Birthday Cakes
The Beginnings of Birthday Celebrations
The first celebrations of birthdays recorded are from the ancient Egyptians. When their Pharaohs were crowned on their birthdays, it was believed they became gods. This warranted a big coronation and birthday celebration. Meanwhile, the ancient Greeks worshiped Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the moon. They would bake moon-shaped cakes, cover them with lit candles to glow like the moon, and take them to Artemis’ temple as an offering for their birthday.
Creating the Modern-Day Cake Tradition
In the 18th century, the German celebration of “Kinderfeste” brought about our modern traditions to children’s birthday celebrations. On the morning of their birthday, a child would receive a cake with a candle on it for each year of their age. They had one additional candle called the light of life, which was a sign of hope for another year of life. The candles would burn all day, and after dinner, the child would make a wish and blow out the candles. Just like today, they would try to blow out all the candles at once and would keep their wish a secret.
After the Industrial Revolution, ingredients for cake became much more affordable and readily available. People could make their own birthday cakes, or they could buy ones from the local bakery shops. This made the practice the common tradition that it is for people of all ages today.
If you’re going to participate in a long-standing tradition, then it’s best to do it properly! Emerson’s Bakery is known for its wonderful selection of mouthwatering birthday cakes. Since 1970, they have stood out among local bakeries in Florence, KY, for their delicious fresh-baked goods. Take a look at their selection on their website and call (859) 371-9228 to order your cake.