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Interesting Facts About The Origin Of Birthdays And Birthday Cakes

A lot of people see birthdays as a very special occasion and use the day to celebrate how far they have come or even just the simple fact that they are still alive.

It would not be out of place for one to wonder if birthdays have always been around and, of course, they have not always been. The earliest known reference to the tradition of marking birthdays goes back to about 4000 years ago and it was nothing like what we have currently.

Facts About Birthdays And Birthday Cakes

  • The early explanations about birthdays revolve around worshipping the gods. It started in ancient Egypt when the coronation date of a Pharoah was a pretty big deal. It was believed that on their coronation day, Pharoahs were transformed from human to god.
  • Egyptologist Dr. James Hoffmeier believes that the reference to Pharoah’s birthday in the Bible was actually a reference to Pharoah’s coronation or “birth” as a god.
  • Another part of the birthday tradition can be traced to the Greeks. Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and the moon, the daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo was honoured by the Greeks who would bake round or moon-shaped honey cakes in offering.
  • The Greeks adorned these cakes with lit candles to help them resemble the glow of the full moon. There also existed a belief in some ancient cultures that smoke could help carry prayers up to the gods.
  • The Romans seem to be the first known people to use cakes to generate the birthdays of humans. They would bake cakes with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and grated cheese to honor the birthdays of friends and family.
  • The more modern kid’s birthday cakes began with the German Kinderfest in the late 18th century. Childrens cakes were decorated with candles for each year the child had been alive and an extra one as a wish that the child would live another year.
  • It was also the German’s that had children blowing out candles and making a wish.
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