I read your blog about lighting Yahrzeit candles (Oct ’10) and I was wondering: can I light a candle to honor my deceased father’s birthday?
What a lovely question! To answer let us first look at why we light Yahrzeit candles in the first place. It is believed that the candle represents the soul of the departed which is never extinguished in our hearts. Like the flame of a candle, a human life is fragile and should be nourished and cherished. As it says in Proverbs, "The soul of man is the candle of G-d."
In other words, we light the candles so that every time we see the flame we are reminded of our loved ones. There is no prohibition that Tanta Golda can find against lighting a candle in addition to the traditional times (anniversary of their passing, erev Yom Kippur, and the conclusion of the three pilgrimage holidays: Sukkot, Pesach, & Shavuot.) I can see nothing wrong with wanting to honor and remember your father on his birthday by lighting a Yahrzeit candle. Yahrzeit candles
May their memories be a blessing - Tanta G