Birthday Celebration


K.L. grew up in the United States and every birthday his friends and family presenting his birthday cake with sing to him and with lit candles on top of the cake. Most birthday songs he would often hear was, ” Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to [name], happy birthday to you, and many more!”. And every time after the end of the song he would blow out his candles with a wish in mind, and would never tell anyone about the wish, or else it would not come true.


Every birthday celebration that K.L. went to growing up had people blowing out candles on a cake. He described, “I never really thought it was weird because everyone around me normalized it for me. But thinking about it now it does seem a little weird that we sing to a people on their birthday and they blow out candles on a cake”.


This is a form of homeopathic magic because the lit candles represent light and possibility of a wish. When a person blows out the candle the intention/ wish floats from the person’s mouth to the candle then into the universe with the smoke. The idea of a wish is transformed from a thought into physical form. The song and the candle also connect with the United States’ ideology of moving forward into the future, rather than reflecting on the past. The United States celebrates each new year looking forward for more. Wishing for something usually dose not involve the past but hopes for the future. This futuristic idea is often depicted in American pop-culture through movies and TV shows.