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Birthday Candles

It may be tradition, but be sure you blow those birthday candles out carefully to avoid mishaps!

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

What celestial body does a round, iced cake most resemble? If you said the moon, then you agree with the Ancient Greeks, who first put candles on cakes offered to Artemis, goddess of the moon. Some historians think the candles were used simply to lend the cake a moon-like glow. Others think that when the candles were blown out, their smoke was supposed to carry the birthday man's or woman's wishes skyward to the goddess.

Whatever the case, candles cause more than 15,000 residential fires every year [source: Candles.org]. There is no data describing the presumably uncountable annual toll of birthday candles on kids' hair and eyebrows.

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