Should Birthday Candles Be Banned

Whoa, what?! Who said that?? After the year+ we've all had, can you not just leave birthday candles ALONE!? A lot of venues and restaurants in London whom we deliver to are now enforcing a ban on blowing candles on birthday cakes and such. It does make the most sense, and even without Covid around.

Blowing Birthday Candles Out

See, before the pandemic, I've always hated handshakes. Hugs are cool, because I'm only hugging people close to me anyway, not strangers I've just met. And hugs usually involve contact between FULLY CLOTHED bodies duh. But handshakes? Eww, no. According to some research, some 69% of men don't wash their hands after going to the loo.

So if you chose to do a graceful Namaste instead I would very much appreciate it, and definitely NOT be offended (unless you were obviously doing it in a mocking-my-culture-racist-kinda-way - then you'd be instantly cancelled). I'm all for Namastes. There is really no need to swap public-transport-pub-loo germs through direct hand contact.

What does this have to do with birthday candles? Why be such a kill joy? Because, birthday candles are generally placed onto birthday cakes. They are then blown out by the birthday person, often very fervently, directly onto the cake. If you are celebrating solo, or only going to be serving the cake with people you are in close contact with anyway, then sure, puff away all you want on the cake. But when in an enclosed shared space - like a restaurant or pub etc, blowing directly onto the cake and into the air, with so much gusto, is simply not going to be seen as hygienic.

Birthday Cake Sparklers

The candle-blowing part of having a birthday cake is often considered pivotal in the celebration. It's fun, it's dramatic, and it's great optics for photos. But you don't HAVE to blow candles in order to have all that. There are some great alternatives that are more hygienic than birthday candles. Eg: sparklers or confetti cannons or popping balloons. Of these options, restaurants are more likely to be happy with sparklers as opposed to mess-creating confetti, but you can always check with them in advance. 

So if it took a pandemic to get us to wash our hands more, shake them less, can we also stop blowing germs directly onto cakes? I think we can. Personally, I like my cake without a side of spit.

Birthday Cakes for Order

Lots of love,

Reshmi xoxo

PS: This is an opinion piece, meaning it's MY opinion based on my experience. It's in no way an attack on anyone who loves nothing more than blowing out birthday candles.

1 Response



October 20, 2021

Couldn’t agree more. My heart always sinks when at a party and some well meaning adult allows a small germ ridden child blow out the candles on a stunning cake resulting in a hefty smattering of nursery lurgy all over the cake. It is a lovely celebratory gesture plus the whole “make a wish” tosh but it’s one I won’t lament losing!

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