Every day of the year, almost every moment of each day, someone on our planet is celebrating a birthday. The world's cultures have many different ways of celebrating birthdays and honoring the passage of time.
The cake and candles that appear at many celebrations in the United States may stem from a Greek tradition of bringing cake to the temple of Artemis, the goddess of the moon, on one's birthday. The ancient Greeks would put candles on the cake to make it glow like the moon. Birthday cake is also a German tradition, and the the German skill at candle-making could account for their place on the cake.