A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake History

History of Birthday Cake can be traced back to the ancient Greeks who made round or moon shaped honey cakes or bread and took it to the temple of Artemis -the Goddess of Moon. Some scholars, however, believe that the tradition of Birthday cake started in Germany in Middle Ages. Sweetened bread dough was given the shape of baby Jesus in swaddling cloth and was used to commemorate his birthday. This special birthday cake later reemerged in Germany as a Kinderfest or the birthday celebrations of a young child. Germans also baked another special kind of a cake called Geburtstagorten as it was baked in layers. This was sweeter that the coarse and bread like cake that were usually made at that time.

Why is Birthday Cake Round?

In earlier times, Birthday cakes were mostly round in shape. Scholars associate religious beliefs and technical compulsions for the same. Greeks offered round shape cake to the Goddess of Moon - Artemis as it signified moon. They even placed candles on the cake to make the cake glow like the moon.Some scholars opine that cake in the ancient world has association with the annual cycles. Round shapes of cakes were preferred as these represented the cyclical nature of life. Most specifically, the sun and moon. Technical reason given for the roundness of the cake is that most cakes we know off advanced from the bread. In ancient times breads and cakes were made by hand. Typically, these were fashioned into round balls and baked on hearthstones or in low, shallow pans. Hence, these naturally relaxed into round shapes. With the progress of times baking pans of various shapes were developed and today we see cakes in imaginative shapes and sizes.

Tradition of Putting Candles on Birthday Cake

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.

All this talk about birthday cakes makes me think it must be someone's birthday. Hmmmm wonder who that could be?



Lynn said...

Going th haveto keep that cake inmind for a summer garden party. I love it!!!
Haven't felt much like getting on the computer, I got mom out of hospital on Fri and than I spent the night in ER Sunday night, with a bladder infection. I had never had one before. Had no idea how painful it could be. I'm finally able to get up and walk a little. I can't wait until summer It has been a bad winter!

Balisha said...

I've had the same experience, Lynn. Not fun at all.When you are busy taking care of everyone else..I think your resistance goes down and you can get sick. Take care and feel better.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Balisha...once again...information I would never know had I not come for a visit. I spotted the few words showing that mentioned cake...and here I was, Johnny on the spot! :)
From now on the candle on MY cake will go right in the center...just one.. getting on in years and I would like as many as I can get.
Great post!! But then all of yours are wonderful. I got a jump start on my new flower bed in the back..perrinials all! I hope one day to have a lovely yard again.
Have a Wednesday Balisha...
I am so pleased that you are enjoying the Barn!

Balisha said...

Hi Mona,
That house is fabulous...So tastefully done to each detail. Thanks for all your lovely comments.
Hugs, Balisha

Elenka said...

Well, the amount of candles on my birthday cake would send the smoke right up to heaven, lickedy split. That's about the only good thing about all those candles!

Meadowview Thymes said...

How interesting! I never knew all this--just took birthday cakes for granted I guess. And...we're not talking about how many candles will go on my next birthday cake!! :)

coolwaterworks said...

Hi Balisha,

I have read this entry several times get some hints... It must be foolish of me but was it really your birthday last March 31?

If so, belated happy birthday! My wish for you is good health, more sprinkles of happiness and more great entries. :)

I apologize for this delay in my greeting... Been busy with work lately... :)

Balisha said...

Hi Mark,
You're the only one who got the hint. Thanks for your sweet birthday wishes.My birthday cake wasn't quite so elaborate as this.Thanks again.