Wednesday What Not: Birthday Traditions

We are celebrating the birthday week of TrishaTrixie.

I thought it would be fun to reflect on some birthday traditions.

Cake

cake

There are many theories as to why we have the birthday cake!

  • The greeks were thought to take cakes to the gods at the beginning of a full moon and a birthday represents one full moon!
  • In Germany, it was a tradition to make bread in the shape of the baby Jesus’s swaddling clothes.

But why do they put candles on the cake?

  • Again, this looks at ancient Greek times.  When the cakes were brought to the God’s they were lit with candles to look like the moon.
  • The German’s were the first to use small candles on their cakes, as they were good candle makers.
  • Candles were used in the center of cakes to represent the “light of life”
  • Some cultures believed that the smoke from the candles would send your wishes up to heaven.

The Birthday Party

A party is usually had so that treats can be shared and presents can be given.  However, this was not always the case.

  • The earliest parties were planned because people thought that evil spirits would visit them on their birthdays.  Friends and family stuck close so they could keep the spirits away.
  • Later, they became traditions where people would come together and celebrate the life of the person having a birthday.

Birthday Luck

A good luck birthstone, good luck flower and good luck color have been assigned to each month of the year.

Wrapping Gifts

A tradition that we hold is the custom of wrapping gifts.

Check out this video on how to wrap a perfect gift.

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