Why Do We Blow Out Birthday Candles?
As it turns out, putting candles on birthday cakes is a tradition that has been around for a long, long time. It 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 tribute to the Greek moon goddess, Artemis. They baked round cakes to symbolize the moon. Candles were added to represent the reflected moonlight.
Candles on cakes became a popular tradition long ago in Germany, too. For religious reasons, Germans would place a large candle in the center of a cake to symbolize “the light of life.”
Some scholars believe that other meanings have also been attached to the use of candles on cakes. People may have believed that the smoke from the candles carried their wishes and prayers to gods who lived in the skies. Others probably believed the smoke helped to ward off evil spirits.
Today, we still put birthday candles on cakes. Many people still hold superstitious beliefs about them, too.
For example, many people believe that the birthday boy or girl (or website!) 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 throughout the year.