These days, any happy occasion or parties are incomplete without cutting a cake and then celebrating it. It has become a popular gesture to mark any happy occasion.

People these days have also grown up by cutting a fancy shop cake or a simple home cake on their birthdays. But have one ever thought that why they even cut a cake on their birthdays? Why this has become a mandatory ritual every year and since when it has started which has turned into a popular tradition now around the world. These days, varieties of cakes are available and there are some cakes that are made especially as birthday cakes. One can also customise and even order personalised birthday cakes in order to make their near and dear ones happy. But one should also know that what is the story behind birthday cakes and how the entire thing started at the very beginning.

There are many food historians who will root that the first ever birthday cake was actually made in Germany and that too many years ago, during the medieval period. The Germans then used to celebrate a child’s birthday by cutting a nice cake and this kind of celebration was also known as Kinderfest. So, the first ever birthday cake was made during the Middle Ages.

Originally cakes were made of that bread like coarse products and then much later it became sweet in taste and at that time in Germany these cakes were known as Geburtstagorten. Post 17th century these birthday cake concept became even more popular and then cakes also had a lot of varieties with different flavours, icings and even layers as well. But during that time only upper class and rich people could afford it as it was a wealthy affair. The ingredients that were used to make cakes were highly priced and so not all people could buy it. But, during the 18th century the baking utensils and the other cake making ingredients became easily accessible in the market and the price reduced to the reach of middle class people as well. As a result, the demand and production of birthday cakes increased a lot. At present endless varieties of birthday cakes are available and one can even go for personalised cakes to make it special and unique.

Birthday cakes are never complete without birthday candles. The story of birthday candles goes back to ancient Greece. It is said that in ancient Greece people used to bake round shaped cakes so that they could worship Lord Artemis who was the goddess of the moon. The candles were lit on the cakes so that it could represent the glow of the moon. Since then the concept started to spread and in Germany candles were lit on cakes to represent the light of life.

At present, most western cultures celebrate birthdays with cake and they also light candles. They do sing a birthday song along with it. The number of candles usually represents the age of the person whose birthday is being celebrated.

Olivia Wilson is a digital nomad and founder of Todays Past. She travels the world while freelancing & blogging. She has over 5 years of experience in the field with multiple awards. She enjoys pie, as should all right-thinking people.

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