why do we put candles on birthday cakes?

Its nice and all, but who ever thought to put candles on a cake?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Tradition of placing candles on Birthday cake is attributed to early Greeks, who used place lit candles on cakes to make them glow like the moon.

    Candles were placed on the cake because people believe that the smoke of the candle carried their wishes and prayers to Gods who lived in the skies.

    People also place candles on Birthday cakes and a silent wish is made before blowing out the candle. Supposedly, blowing out all candles in one breath means the wish will come true and the person with enjoy good luck.

    Some also smear out the name of the person before slicing of the cake.

  • History of the Birthday Candle: Another symbol of birthday celebrations is the birthday candles. The Greek people who took their cakes to Artemis placed candles on the cakes because it made the cakes look as if it was glowing like the full moon. The Germans known as excellent candle makers began making small candles for their cakes. Some German family's would one large candle symbolizing the "light of life. The candle is marked with lines and numbers (usually 12) that would be burned every year. Some people believe the candle were placed on cakes for religious reasons. Others believe that the smoke from the candles would take their wishes up to the heavens.

  • 1 decade ago

    Candles on the Cake

    There are a few possible explanations as to why we have candles on birthday cakes, nobody is completely sure how the tradition started.

    One possible reason is because the ancient Greeks used to take cakes (round to represent the full moon) to the temple of their goddess of the moon, Artemis. The Greeks are said to have placed candles on the cake to make it look as if it was glowing like the moon.

    It has also been claimed that the Germans invented birthday cakes, and celebrated birthdays with a cake called "Geburtstagorten". The Germans were known to have been skilled candlemakers and may have put small candles on their cakes, possibly for religious reasons.

  • 1 decade ago

    Fire has always been a most powerful symbol of purification. So birthday candles are used to burn away any hard times, evil, demons, bad luck and the like, and ensure that you have a year of prosperity and good. When a wish is made over lighted candles and then blown out, this makes sure that the wish is returned to you, and doesn't just evaporate into the atmosphere. There's an immense amount of tradition, history and symbolism associated with candles and their many uses. You can pick up some very explanatory books at the library.

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  • Swirly
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Tradition of placing candles on Birthday cake is attributed to early Greeks, who used place lit candles on cakes to make them glow like the moon. Greeks used to take the cake to the temple of Artemis-the Goddess of Moon. Some scholars say that candles were placed on the cake because people believe that the smoke of the candle carried their wishes and prayers to Gods who lived in the skies. Others believe that the custom originated in Germany where people used to place a large candle in the centre of the cake to symbolize ‘the light of life’.

    In present times too, people place candles on Birthday cakes and a silent wish is made before blowing out the candle. It is believed that blowing out all candles in one breath means the wish will come true and the person with enjoy good luck in the coming year. Some also smear out the name of the person before slicing of the cake to bring good luck.

    Traditions and Superstitious Beliefs Related to Birthday Cake

    In medieval times people of England used to place symbolic objects like coins, rings and thimbles in the batter of the cake. It was believed that those who found coin in the cake would be wealthy while the unlucky finder of the thimble would never marry. Wedding was signified for the person who found the slice of cake with ring. Even today some people follow the tradition and place small figures, fake coins and small candies inside the cake.

    If the cake fell while baking it was considered to be a bad omen and signified bad luck for the person in the coming year.

    http://www.tokenz.com/history-of-birthday-cake.htm...

  • Kelly
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I used to but if I put candles on a cake for each year I am nowadays I would need a gigantic cake and I would be running a grave risk of catching my home on fire. Methusalah was over 900 when he died. I think I can beat that, at least I feel that I Can (LoL). Poseidon

  • 1 decade ago

    because the pagans used to light a torch for their elders to tell everyone of thier b-days. As time passed it got resized down to a candle someone would light in the catholic church for people who were away fighting in the crusades. As more time passed it became a way to celebrate by putting the number of candles you are onto a cake.

    We ruin everything with commericalisim.

  • 1 decade ago

    well when you sing happy birtday and bring out a cake w/ candles, typically you turn off the lights. the more candles = more light = brighter, happier life.

    I don't know if that's true, but i like it!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Probably someone who wanted the birthday persons saliva all over the cake!

  • 1 decade ago

    One for each year they have been here. Did you know that the Christmas Tree use to hold candles before they started puting lights on it.

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