Many of the cherished rituals performed during children birthday parties actually have their origins in ancient superstitions.
Wishing on Candles.
The offering the ancient Greeks made to Artemis â€“ the protector of the young and the goddess of the moon, the hunt, and childbirth was in the form of a round honey cake with a candle on top. German bakers, who invented the modern birthday cake during the Middle Ages, encircled the cake with lit candles. The custom was refined over the years, and the cake itself came to be decorated with one candle for each year of life. Some people add an extra candle grow on.
A birthday begins a new year, and games of power and skill – physical and mental – give the birthday child a chance to demonstrate increased strength and wisdom.
Inflicting a little pain chases away evil spirits and ensures good luck for the coming year In some countries, guests give the birthday child whacks, punches, or pinches – but all are given gently, and for good luck.
Gifts to the Guests.
The small prizes embedded in a birthday cake – such as rings, coins, or buttons – are tokens for telling fortunes in some families. Guests may also get party favors.