07 Mar 2016
Has anybody ever given a thought to the fact why we celebrate birthdays? If asked, most Brisbanites might explain that they do it simply to commemorate the birth of a person and have fun with family and friends. But not many would have ever contemplated over how and why the custom of celebrating birthdays came into being.
Let’s have a look at some of the best hypotheses that can help in tracing the advent of birthday ceremonies:
Started By Egyptians
According to references made in the Bible, it were the Egyptians from whom the concept of birthday celebration has been derived. In ancient Egypt, the coronation of Pharaohs was considered their transformation from human beings to gods. The Bible pointed this out as a Pharaoh’s birth in the form of a god.
Addition of Candles By Greeks
In ancient Greece, moon shaped cakes were offered as a tribute to the lunar goddess Artemis. For recreating the perceived beauty and radiance of the moon, the Greeks decorated the cakes with lit candles. Take a note of that Brisbanites! Now you know why you put candles on top of any unique birthday cake in Brisbane.
Actual Celebration By Romans
As per unanimous opinion, ancient Romans were the first to celebrate the birthdays of non-religious folks. They started organising ceremonies for their families and friends, while birthdays of famous citizens were turned into public holidays. However, females were not allowed to be part of all this until 12th century.
Contemporary Cakes By Germans
Cakes as used in modern day birthday parties were invented in Germany during late 18th century. These cakes were baked for celebrating Kinderfeste, an event where kids received as many candles as the number of years they had been alive. The practice of making a wish after blowing out the candles was also encompassed into Kinderfeestjes.
Delicious Cakes Brought To Masses By Industrial Revolution
For a long time, only wealthy people could afford sugary cakes for celebrating their birthdays, because the required ingredients were regarded as luxury. But the advent of Industrial Revolution led to mass production of cakes due to abundance of the requisite ingredients as well as labourers. Bakeries started to sell affordably priced pre-made cakes to the common people.
So that is how the birthday celebrations came into being. But what about the song associated with it? Well, it is actually an American variation of the song “Good Morning To All” written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty Hill in 1893.