The Curious Origin Of Blowing Out Birthday Candles

Have you ever wondered what is the origin of one of the most well-known traditions in the world - blowing out birthday candles? We did. And it's quite interesting.

The truth is that, although almost everyone does it, not many people know the story behind one of the world's most widespread customs - blowing out birthday candles - so here's some information.

Blowing Out Birthday Candles - The Origin

Once every twelve months, we celebrate our birthdays (except for those of us who were born on 29 February!), a day that many of us look forward to with excitement. We sit down in front of a delicious cake, fill our lungs with air and blow with all our might into the candles carefully placed on the surface of the cake.

It is one of the most widespread rituals around the world. It comes so naturally and is so assimilated that the origin of this tradition has been almost buried in oblivion and few know its history.

One of the best-known versions takes us back to 18th century Germany. At that time, it was a customary part of the festival called "Kinderfest": two candles were placed on the sweets made for the children being celebrated, one to represent the light of his life and the other symbolizing the years to come.

The flame had to be present throughout the day, and if the candle burned out it was replaced by another one. At the end of the day, it was extinguished with a blow. It was believed that the smoke coming out of the extinguished candles sent to God the wish we had in mind and wanted to be fulfilled on our birthday. According to this tradition, nowadays the wrong number of candles is put on the cake: one for each year that has passed.

But detailed explanations in an 18th-century German manuscript ensure that one candle can be used for each year, instead of two in the center. An English-language copy of this book is available for free from Google Books. According to the abc.com website, the description can be read on page 15.

Blowing Out Candles in Ancient Greece

However, Germany is not the only possible origin of candles on the birthday cake.

Another version takes us to the mysterious land of ancient Greece. At that time, round sweets with candles on them were offered to the moon goddess Artemis. These messages represented the full lunar cycle and the candle fire was extinguished in one breath, so that the smoke that came could reach the deity, carrying with it the wishes of mortals.

What we do know is that the tradition of blowing out candles on every anniversary was long considered a pagan ritual. But in our times that ancient ritual has been erased from memory, and candle-blowing has become something common, disregarded upon only by the most formalists, who claim it is a way of "sharing" the germs that can fall on the cake when blowing out candles.

Sources: Epoch Times, SayWhyDoi, and God Fruits TV.

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