It is commonplace in the US to celebrate our birthday with
a beautiful and tasty birthday cake. Although the Greeks
were the first to use cakes to celebrate birthdays, they
were commonly used to celebrate the birthdays of gods and
And the inclusion of candles on a birthday cake is also of
Greek origin as the cake to celebrate the birthday of the
Greek moon god Artemis was topped with lit candles.
In the middle ages, the English would conceal symbolic
items inside the cake. Each item was a prediction for the
Usually items such as gold coins, rings and thimbles were
baked into the cake. The birthday cake made its way to
Western culture in the mid 19th century and has been an
important part of birthday celebrations since.
When cutting into ones birthday cake, there are little
superstitions some people believe. If the knife touches the
bottom, or when pulling the knife from the cake itself
there are pieces of cake stuck to the knife, than the
birthday person must kiss the nearest person of the
Another belief is when you blow the candles out on your
cake, you are supposed to make a wish. If the candles are
blown out in one blow and the wisher keeps the wish a
secret, then it is believed the wish will come true.
Birthday cakes are typically highly decorated with lots of
colors and flowers or something of that sort. For kids, it
is popular to have cartoon characters or their favorite
them on the cake.
Cakes can go from home made, simple designs to more
elaborate cakes that can cost hundreds of dollars.