I had opportunity to see birthday parties in many countries. They celebrate in their own fashion – following their family, religious, regional or ethnic traditions. So I understand the significance of the Greek tradition of blowing off candles.
But my cousin is neither Greek nor Westerner. He was just mimicking an alien culture which he had seen in movies or advertising skits. He was making a silent statement:”I am modern!” Meanwhile, he proudly claims that he is a Hindu Brahmin! As per Hindu tradition blowing off the light is inauspicious.
I asked him: “Doesn’t blowing out the candles suggest a shift towards darkness and hence ignorance? Is this what you wish for your boy?”
“What do you mean?” he asked me.
“You claim to be a Hindu Brahmin. Candle creates Agni (fire) which is a God for a Hindu. Light comes from Agni represents divine wisdom. Every auspicious event of a Hindu starts with creating fire, lighting a lamp. And the lamp is kept lighted until the function gets over. Even after the function the lamp is turned off by hand or some other material like flower and not by blowing off. Blowing off Agni at such an event is considered as showing disrespect to God Agni…
(Excerpts from my book: MANTRAS and RITUALS: THE LOGIC OF HINDU SCIENCE. For further reading: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B093Z2M52M ) You may visit Amazon site of your respective country and search “B093Z2M52M”
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