The history of the birthday cake


Celebrating the anniversary of one’s birth is something that is carried out in a variety of different cultures. In fact, some religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism will even celebrate the birth of their founder or religious figures, whereas Jehovah’s Witnesses chose not to celebrate their own birthday at all due to the belief that we shouldn’t honour anybody but Jesus. Here at A Year of Dates, we know how hard it can be to find the perfect gift for a loved one and that is why we have made it our mission to make birthday celebrations as stress-free as possible, from finding the perfect gift to baking the perfect cake. Read on as we go over everything there is to know about the history of birthday cake…

According to historians, the very first birthday cake is thought to date back to Ancient Greece where they baked moon-shaped desserts as a tribute to Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon. In fact, the cakes would also be decorated with candles in order to make them shine like the moon. Of course, the ingredients that were used would have differed considerably from the ingredients that we use today.

Modern birthday parties are a traditional that hailed from 18th century Germany, who would call them Kinderfeste. The children would receive a cake on the morning of their birthday that was decorated with the same number of candles as their age, plus an extra candle called the ‘light of life’ that was said to represent the hope of another full year. With this said, the cake wasn’t eaten until the very end of the day!

Since the ingredients that are used to bake a cake were not readily available before the 21st century, the dessert was often missing from the birthday celebrations of many poverty-stricken families and was reserved as a luxury for the rich and regal. The industrial revolution managed to change this by boosting the economy and making certain food products like flour, butter and eggs more affordable. This eventually led to the modern birthday celebrations that we know and recognise today, complete with music, gifts and a cake to beat all cakes!

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on a birthday gift for a friend, partner or family member, it really is the thought that counts! Our A Year of Dates: Birthday Edition envelope packs can be personalised for any age-related milestone and are a unique way to show somehow how much they really mean to you. They contain between 25 and 54 sealed envelopes which have a unique activity suggestion to keep the celebrations going all-year round! To find out more information about our birthday gifts, get in contact with a member of the A Year of Dates team today!

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