I looooooove CAKE! (I know, I know, I do love food of any kind) They’re good anytime but especially fun on birthdays. Everyone can celebrate the event with a great big smile. Don’t forget to make a wish when you blow out the candles! And get them all out in one breath!!!! :))))
Ah – the ritual of birthday cake. It’s one of mankind’s great inventions (along with frosting, sprinkles, candles, balloons and of course ice cream). I have a fun tradition with my golf buddies – every few weeks, we try to get together for breakfast and celebrate one of our group’s birthdays. Nothing fancy, just good coffee and good food and good laughs. It got me thinking about “cake”, so I dug up some interesting info on the topic. I never turn down a great cake – but I have to admit, my favorite desert is either Pineapple Upside Down cake or Boston Crème pie! . So, here’s a little history, fun facts about the birthday song, and world records. Special thanks to readersdigest.com, The History Channel, CNBC and Wikipedia for the info. Enjoy.
- A birthday cake is a cake eaten as part of a birthday celebration. Birthday cakes are often layer cakes with frosting served with small lit candles on top representing the celebrant’s age. Variations include cupcakes, cake pops, pastries, and tarts. The cake is often decorated with birthday wishes and the celebrant’s name.
- Birthday cakes have been a part of birthday celebrations in Western European countries since the middle of the 19th century. However, the link between cakes and birthday celebrations may date back to ancient Roman times.
- In classical Roman culture, ‘cakes’ were occasionally served at special birthdays and at weddings. These were flat circles made from flour and nuts, leavened with yeast, and sweetened with honey.
- The ancient Egyptians are credited with “inventing” the celebration of birthdays. They believed when pharaohs were crowned, they became gods, so their coronation day was a pretty big deal. That was their “birth” as a god – hence, birth day cake (get it?) So, they baked moon-shaped cakes to offer up to Artemis goddess of the moon, as a tribute. They decorated them with lit candles to make the cakes shine like the moon – hence, the reason we light our birthday cakes on fire.
- In the 15th century, bakeries in Germany began to market one-layer cakes for customers’ birthdays in addition to cakes for weddings.
- During the 17th century, the birthday cake took on its contemporary form. These elaborate cakes had many aspects of the contemporary birthday cake, like multiple layers, icing, and decorations. However, these cakes were only available to the very wealthy. Birthday cakes became accessible to the lower class as a result of the industrial revolution and the spread of more materials and goods. So, it has become the cultures and traditions to celebrate the birthday with delicious cake and beautiful wishes.
- There is no standard for birthday cakes, though the “Happy Birthday“ song is often sung while the cake is served in English-speaking countries, or an equivalent birthday song in the appropriate language of the country.
- The birthday cake is often decorated with small candles, secured with special holders or simply pressed down into the cake. the number of candles is equal to the age of the individual whose birthday it is, sometimes with one extra for luck. Traditionally, the person whose birthday it is makes a wish, which is thought to come true if all the candles are extinguished in a single breath.
- The phrase “happy birthday” did not appear on birthday cakes until the song “Happy Birthday to You” was popularized in the early 1900s.
- In many cultures the person whose birthday is being celebrated is invited to make a wish, and blow out candles. Though the exact origin and significance of this ritual is unknown, there are multiple theories which try to explain this tradition.
- Greek: One theory explaining the tradition of placing candles on birthday cakes is attributed to the early Greeks, who used candles to honor the goddess Artemis’ birth on the sixth day of every lunar month. The link between her oversight of fertility and the birthday tradition of candles on cakes, however, has not been established.
- Pagan: The use of fire in certain rites dates back to the creation of altars. Birthday candles are said to hold symbolic power. In the past it was believed that evil spirits visited people on their birthdays and that, to protect the person whose birthday it was from evil, people must surround the individual and make them merry. Party-goers made noise to scare away evil spirits.
- German: In 18th century Germany, the history of candles on cakes can be traced back to Kinderfest, a birthday celebration for children. This tradition also makes use of candles and cakes. German children were taken to an auditorium-like space. There, they were free to celebrate another year in a place where Germans believed that adults protected children from the evil spirits attempting to steal their souls.
- Swiss: A reference to the tradition of blowing out the candles was documented in Switzerland in 1881. Researchers for the Folk-Lore Journal recorded various “superstitions” among the Swiss middle class. One statement depicted a birthday cake as having lighted candles which correspond to each year of life. These candles were required to be blown out, individually, by the person who is being celebrated.
- The Happy Birthday Song is arguably the most frequently-sung English song in the world, giving “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” and “Auld Lang Syne” a run for their money. If you hear this song a lot in September, there’s a reason.
- Singing the Happy Birthday Song may actually make birthday cake taste better. According to a study by researchers from Harvard University and the University of Minnesota, indulging in a ritual before eating heightens our enjoyment of the food and helps us savor it.
- Here are some things you never knew about another birthday pastime: the “Happy Birthday” song. At a well preserved 125 years old, “Happy Birthday to You,” is the most frequently sung English song in the world. It was originally composed in 1893 as “Good Morning to All” by Patty Smith Hill, a kindergarten teacher and principal in Louisville, Kentucky, and her oldest sister, Mildred Jane Hill, a pianist and composer. Its lyrics went like this: Good morning to you, Good morning to you, Good morning, dear children, Good morning to all.
- The song was part of a larger project of the sisters to create simple music that catered to children’s limited abilities. They workshopped songs on Patty’s class so that “even the youngest children could learn with perfect ease,” with Patty writing the words and Mildred setting them to melodies. They published GMTA in their 1893 book, Song Stories for the Kindergarten. Just like us, the sisters loved simple, shareable sentiments.
- For years, legal battles raged over the Hill sisters’ ownership of the Birthday Song and whether or not it should be in the public domain. A 2013 class-action lawsuit initiated by a New York filmmaker challenged the song’s copyright and demanded that the current copyright owner return all previous royalties it had collected for HBTY. In May 2015, U.S. District Judge George King was still hearing arguments for Good Morning to You Productions Corp. vs. Warner/Chappell Music. In February 2016, Warner Music finally ended the long-fought battle when it paid $14 million to put “Happy Birthday” into the public domain. In June of the same year, a judge approved it.
- The world’s largest birthday cake was created in 1989 for the 100th Birthday of the city of Fort Payne, Alabama. The cake weighed 128,238 pounds, 8 oz. and used 16,209 pounds of icing!
- A birthday cake loaded with diamonds and hand-sculpted fondant smashed the record for the most expensive dessert ever created. Price tag: $75 million. The decadent cake was created by British designer Debbie Wingham, who rose to fame when she crafted the world’s most expensive dress for $17.7 million. It took more than 1,100 hours to make, since all of the tiny edible figurines were hand-sculpted with Wingham’s couture clothing and accessories, including sunglasses and handbags. Much of the value comes from the bling. The cake has 4,000 diamonds, including a 5.2-carat pink diamond, a 6.4-carat yellow diamond and 15 five-carat white diamonds. Those 17 stones alone are worth more than $45 million. (now that’s when you wanna lick the frosting!!)
DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I. Love. My. Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good. :-))))