The Birthday Candle Wish and its Traditions

The Birthday Candle Wish…

I have a great love of the tradition of The Birthday Candle.

It’s one tradition that I remember going back as far as my mind and memory will take me.

I love making a wish, then blowing out my Birthday Candle(s). It’s that once-a-year marvel of magical feelings.

Even more, I love watching my grandchildren transported like magic into this wonderful tradition of wishes & wonder, fascination & fun.

So, how did all of this wonder begin? Where does the Birthday Candle tradition come from?

There are a couple of answers/theories, each as fun as the other, I think.

One goes back to Ancient Greece, where round cakes were created to honor the Goddess of the Moon, Artemis. Of course, a candle was added to symbolize the moon’s glow. I love this! The smoke of the extinguished candle was thought to carry wishes/prayers of the birthday person to the moon, where they would magically become true.

Another theory takes us to a German tradition, the ceremony of Kinderfest, when a child’s birthday was celebrated. Candles were placed on a cake, representing the light of life. The child’s candle wishes/prayers were carried to heaven.

Whatever the impetus of the tradition, it’s one of my favorite parts of celebrating each of my 12 grandkids on their birthdays. Yesterday was one such day, as my grandson William turned 12 years old. There was a marvelous, happy dinner and the reveal of his Special Birthday Shirt – a birthday tradition with each of our grandkids that began in January 2002 when Pop-up and I bought a special shirt that told something special of our first grandchild, Taylor, on her first birthday… and then had the shirt monogrammed with her name, birthday date and year.

We’ve had a Special Birthday Shirt each year, for each grandchild, on each birthday! That’s a lot of Birthday Shirts!

William’s Special Birthday Shirt tells of his interest this year in Pokemon GO


Then it was time for the Birthday Candle, and I always take photos of the Birthday Candle tradition, trying to catch the smoke and its magic-in-the-making.

The contemplation of The Wish –


The double-contemplation of The Wish –


Putting The Wish in motion, wrapped in all of its great tradition, wonder, magic & fun…


The Wish, gathered in all its magical smoke, ready to float up to heaven, the moon, wherever Birthday Wishes come true –


I love this “Light of Life.”

I love this magic.

I love these birthday moments of something so wonderfully bigger and beyond every other day of the year.




About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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