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Happy Birthday to You!

B. Deer

The lights are out. The guests are hiding. The birthday girl walks in. Lights go on. Guests jump up and shout, “Surprise!” And the festivities begin. What was the best birthday party you’ve ever been to?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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Photo: Shutterstock

W ow! You’re a year older. Or is it just a day? Or a year of days? However you look at it, the day you were born is called your birthday, and you officially are one year older now. And there are all kinds of fun ways to celebrate this very special day.

Of Cakes and Concoctions

“A birthday party without a cake is like soda without fizz,” says Nechama S., third-grader. Or, as heard from Perel, ten, “It’s like drinking a Slurpee without the special straw!” Birthday cakes haven’t always been an integral part of childhood. In fact, they weren’t around at all. About 450 years ago, some German bakers concocted the idea of celebrating children’s birthdays with cakes. Kids loved it. They called these celebrations Kinderfest.

The Kinderfest cakes looked nothing like today’s cakes. They were a coarse, bread-like product, just a bit sweeter. In fact, in those days, people used “bread” and “cake” to mean the same thing — the only difference was that cake was sweeter. As time passed, the cakes got sweeter and sweeter, and they got a new name: Geburtstagstorten (birthday desserts) Ever since, cakes have become more and more elaborate with icing, layers, and decorations. Yum! Check out some of these funky and wacky birthday cakes.

Full o’ Flowers 

What do you get when you cross fresh flowers with birthday cake? A cake made entirely of flowers! After all, you can’t always have the cake and eat it, too. Just looking at these gorgeous displays will surely be enough.


Make It Long

How loooooong must a birthday cake be to celebrate the birthdays of 95 people? The Chinese would say about 200 feet long. The mass birthday event in Luanchuan, Henan Province, set a national record, with 2,000-plus guests. Food, live entertainment, speeches, and more rounded out this grand event.

Build It Up

“Happy Tenth Brickday, LegoLand California!” Nobody was surprised to see that birthday (in 2009) being celebrated with a huge cake built entirely from Legos. Built by model designer and park designer (and former mailman!) Bill Vollbrecht, it included all kinds of cool details showcasing different rides and areas of the park. The cake was even animated and the candles on top lit up.

Record Breaking

What kind of cake takes 50 hours to bake? A cake that weighs 28,238 pounds (that’s 64 tons), has 12 layers, is 32 feet wide and 80 feet long. The cake — containing 33,826 pounds of flour and 25,408 pounds of sugar, and shaped like the state of Alabama — was made by the EarthGrains Inc. bakery of Fort Payne, Alabama, to celebrate the city’s 100th birthday. A 100-year-old man cut the first piece. Congrats.

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