Tradition of lighting Birthday Candles on a cake began years ago and even today candle hold its significant and illuminated presence atop birthday cake. Number of birthday candles used on a cake represent the age of a person celebrating his or her birthday. The rule is relaxed for older people who find the idea of one candle per year fussy and childish.
Candles were later used to protect the "birthdayee" from demons. Infact thRoman Catholic Church rejected the whole birthday celebration as a Pagan ritual.
(Just to clarify for those who are confused, Paganism is not devil worship. It is nature worship. Kind of ike the Native Americans.)
History of Birthday Candles
It is said that the custom of placing candles on a birthday was started by early Greeks who used to place candles on the cake that they offered to Artemis - the Goddess of Moon. Lit candles made their round shape cake glow like the moon. Germans, who perfected themselves in the art of candle-making placed candles on the cake but for religious reasons. They used to place a big candle in the centre of the cake to represent ‘light of life’. The candle is marked with lines and numbers, usually 12, which would be burned every year.
Scholars also say that the custom of placing candles originated because people believed that Gods lived in the skies. They thought that lit candle helped to send signals and prayers to the god so that they could be answered more effectively. The other belief that people held was when a person makes a wish while blowing out the votive candle a signal or message was received by the god and the prayers would be answered.
Birthday Candle Traditions and Beliefs
Even today people hold a lot of superstitious beliefs about birthday candles. Person celebrating his or her birthday makes a silent wish while blowing out the candles on the cake. It is said if the person is able to blow out all candles in one breath it signifies that the wish would be answered and that the person would enjoy good luck in coming year. Another superstitious belief is that if a person reveals the birthday wish it does not come true.
Several Latino cultures observe an interesting candle-lighting ceremony on a girl’s 15th birthday called a ‘Quinceanera’. The religious ceremony is held in a church and marks the girl’s passage into adulthood. In a gesture of recognizing her heritage and her spiritual journey, the young woman lights her parent’s candle with the flame of her own candle. Her parents in turn illuminate the candle of their parents, and so on.
Birthday Candles Types
Birthday candles are an indispensable part of birthday celebrations. Most commonly used birthday candles are long and cylindrical taper candles with a base diameter of (3/16-inch). Taper candles are made by dipping wicks into melted wax, by pouring wax into a mold, and by rolling wax around a wick.
Nowadays birthday candles come in innovative and imaginative designs and styles. Range of candles available in the market is immense for children. Number shaped candles is commonly used to signify the number of years a person has lived. Besides, candles in the shapes of cartoons are very much appreciated. Another interesting birthday candle type is the edible candle made with soybean oil.
Birthday Candles, especially personalized birthday candles are very much in vogue as Birthday gift. Designer aromatic and floating candles make wonderful decorative and help to spread much-desired aura of calm and peace.