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Birthday cake

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heart shaped birthday cake

The birthday cake is part of birthday celebrations in European countries since 19th century.[1]

The tradition of adding candles to the top of a birthday cake spread widely among rich people in Germany during the 15th century. Ηowever, the actual concept of a round cake and 'making a wish' that we now associate to birthdays goes back to Ancient Greece. These ancient predecessors of the modern birthday cakes served as offerings to Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon and of hunting, Artemis. They were meant to carry the wishes of the people into the temple. The roundness of the cakes symbolized the shape of the moon itself. It is suggested that the cakes were decorated with lit candles in order to make them glow like the moon.

This was later adapted and took different forms and formed as the basis for our birthday cakes tradition today. There have also been reports of some forms of birthday cakes and such celebrating linked to the ancient Rome.

Often good wishes are written on the cake using sugar or chocolate.[2] Since long times birthday cakes were a sign of wealth, but in the 20th century they became easily accessible to most people. Around the world many types of the birthday cake are used often looking more like candies and combined sweets. Before the cake is eaten, the person whose birthday it is should make a wish, blow out the candles in one try - this would guarantee that the wish will come true.[3]


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  1. "Birthday Cakes: History & Recipes - Online article with an extensive bibliography".[permanent dead link]
  2. "21 Beautiful Birthday Cakes Images". 20 May 2017. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. {{cite web}}: More than one of |archivedate= and |archive-date= specified (help); More than one of |archiveurl= and |archive-url= specified (help)
  3. Britain), Folklore Society (Great (15 February 1883). "The Folk-lore Journal". Folk-lore Society – via Google Books.