When I was baking a birthday cake for Sheen's cousin, he was lingering around helping me to crack the eggs etc. Then, in his childish way he asked why does the birthday has to be round.
Then while waiting for the cake to be cool, we "googled" and found these quick facts:
- History of Birthday Cake can be traced back to the ancient Greeks who made round or moon shaped honey cakes or bread and took it to the temple of Artemis -the Goddess of Moon.
- In earlier times, Birthday cakes were mostly round in shape. Scholars associate religious beliefs and technical compulsions for the same. Greeks offered round shape cake to the Goddess of Moon - Artemis as it signified moon. They even placed candles on the cake to make the cake glow like the moon.
- Technical reason given for the roundness of the cake is that most cakes we know off advanced from the bread. In ancient times breads and cakes were made by hand. Typically, these were fashioned into round balls and baked on hearthstones or in low, shallow pans. Hence, these naturally relaxed into round shapes.
- In medieval times people of England used to place symbolic objects like coins, rings and thimbles in the batter of the cake. It was believed that those who found coin in the cake would be wealthy while the unlucky finder of the thimble would never marry. If the cake fell while baking it was considered to be a bad omen and signified bad luck for the person in the coming year.
- The phrase "Happy Birthday" did not appear on birthday cakes until the song Happy Birthday to You was popularized in the early 1900s.
- Tradition holds that the person with the birthday may make a wish, which will come true if all the candles can be blown out in one breath.