Sarah Hazelwood

Happy first birthday Ketchup!

One year ago I wrote my first Ketchup post. It was the start of what has been an amazing 12 months and we’re delighted to now be celebrating our first birthday.

When Ketchup launched there was just a handful of writers - now just look at the team. We’re growing all the time to bring you endless articles, hints, tips and help on all sorts of topics, so there’s something for everyone.

In fact, you love it so much, our 285 articles and blog posts have had half a million page views and to date your favourites are; how to bleed a radiator and Alys’ guide on how to beat the weeds.

As it’s such a special birthday, it’s only right that we celebrate in style. And, it’s important we don’t let the side down because, if you didn’t know already, HomeServe has got a bit of a reputation for throwing a damn good party.

But, where did the concept of celebrating birthdays actually come from? We did a little digging and discovered all of this…

Egyptians started the party

When pharaohs were crowned in ancient Egypt they were believed to have transformed into gods. This was known as their coronation date and was more important than the day they were born. They would commemorate their ‘rebirth’ as gods and as such it’s known as the earliest mention of a birthday celebration.

Greeks brought the candles

As a form of tribute to the Lunar goddess, Greeks offered moon-shaped cakes to Artemis. In a bid to recreate the radiance of the moon as well as her beauty, Greeks lit candles for the cake to create a glowing effect.

Then came celebrations for the common man…

It is believed that the Romans were the first civilization to throw birthday parties for non-religious male figures. They would celebrate for friends and family and if it was a 50th birthday party, a special cake made of wheat flour, olive oil, honey and grated cheese would be given as a gift. Females weren’t celebrated until the 12th century.

With industrial revolution came cake for the masses

Early birthday celebrations involving sugary cakes were only available to the very wealthy, due to the luxurious ingredients. But, with the industrial revolution came celebrations such as Kinderfeste in Germany. Thanks to mass production the ingredients were easier to come by and bakeries started offering pre-made cakes at low prices.

Kinderfeste set the trend

Kinderfeste came about in Germany in the late 18th century. It was held for children or ‘kinder’ and involved birthday cake and candles to blow out to make a wish. Children got a candle for each year they’d been alive, as well as another to symbolize the hope of living for another year.

A birthday classic

In 1893 two sisters wrote a song called ‘Good Morning To All’. It was created for students to sing before their classes, but it soon caught on in America, making way for a number of variations. In 1924 Robert Coleman published a songbook and after adding a few extra lyrics the original lines were lost and ‘Happy Birthday To You’ was born.

Right, that’s it from us; it’s time to party. Thanks so much for all your support over this past year and we look forward to bringing you even more – once we’ve finished celebrating, of course!

Sarah