A song of celebration that typically precedes the arrival of a cake bearing some colourful candles. Or when the candles surpass the area of the cake, numbers often adorn the top as a reminder of the the milestone that has arrived.
Birthday cakes have been around forever and everyone from the Greeks to the Germans have been credited with the introduction of candles to the celebration. Though the significance of these is uncertain, there are many theories trying to explain the ritual, from honouring a Greek goddess's birth on the sixth day of every lunar month, to the mystic significance of fire.
One thing we can be sure about is that the undertones of superstition carry through to today. While it was never a problem in my youth, when I hit middle age and became concerned about keeping an eye on my girlish figure, I was duly warned by many 'old wives' that shunning a piece of birthday cake is verboten. Extremely bad luck, apparently.
It was probably just an excuse to eat this sugary confection that prompted the tenet, but it works. Life can deal out enough nasty on its own; I'm not giving it an excuse to bring on any more — calories or not.
Then there is the make-a-wish-and-blow-out-the-candles thing, done from the first to the last birthday. Rarely comes true, but we keep the faith year after year.
So in celebration of birthdays, its traditions, rituals and superstitions, here are some great tutorials that let you have your cake without the guilt:
Simple Birthday Cake in Photoshop
Create a Retro-Inspired Birthday Cake
Use Photoshop to Make a Cake
Bake a Cake in Illustrator