Happy Birthday! Feliz Cumpleanos! Briethla Shoa Dhiut! Joyeux Anniversaire! Alles Gute zum Geburgstag! Buon Compleanno!
No matter in what language you say it, the sentiment is the same. Today we celebrate you, the day in which you entered the world!
Every one has a birthday, whether one wishes to acknowledge it or not. It is one common thread that we all share. Whether we choose to spend the day with an elaborate party, or letting the day go by without notice. Birthday celebrations have a long history. It really does not seem like a birthday until one has blown out the candles on their birthday cake, and the birthday song sung to them surrounded by birthday balloons and birthday flowers. But did you ever ask yourself, how did these birthday traditions get their start?
The first cake with candles can be traced by to the ancient Romans, who lit them on a cake as an offering to the God Aramis. The first birthday cake was documented in 18th century Germany. They used a sweet, layered cake, placing a large candle in the center of the cake to represent “the light of life.” Some people believe the smoke from extinguished candles carries their birthday wishes up to heaven.
If a song was sung back then, no one knows. For, the traditional happy birthday song was not written until in 1893. Two sisters Patty and Mildred Hill teachers from Louisville, Kentucky turned their “Good Morning to All” tune into the birthday song we all know and love today. It was not copyrighted until 1935.
Throughout the years, the ownership has been sold several times. In 1990, Warner Chappell purchased the company owning the copyright for U.S. $15 million, with the value of “Happy Birthday” estimated at U.S. $5 million. Warner collected approximately $5000 per day or 2 million per year in royalties for the song. This includes use in television, film, radio and plays. I would say that was a wise business investment on Warner’s part.
Around the same time as the birthday song was written, the birthday balloon made it’s appearance. Perfected from the first rubber balloon which was made in 1824 by a professor at the Royal Institution of London, to use in experiments with hydrogen. Professor Faraday noted that the hydrogen forced the the balloons to float upwards (luckily for Mr. Faraday, that the experiment was not performed around flames of a birthday cake!).
Fortunately, helium replaced hydrogen in the 1920’s. Even though hydrogen made them float higher and longer, the safety of the helium won out, becoming the standard. Soon after, rubber was replaced with latex because it was discovered that different shapes could be formed -the first being the head of a cat. Then they became a popular form of advertising when merchants started printing their company’s information on them.
It is hard to imagine a birthday celebration without the singing of “Happy Birthday to You”, awaiting to indulge in delicious cake, while surrounded by bright colored balloons floating in the air. Here at Gifttree, we have a wide selection of balloon bouquets to add that festive touch to any birthday celebration. Just remember that calories do not count on one’s birthday! Age is but a number! A grand celebration is definitely in order, For it is the day you entered the world! You are special, unique, one of a kind! While singing is optional, it is highly recommended, Even if loud and off key.