Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Candy Cane has Religious Beginnings - Origin of the Candy Cane

Candy Canes with their characteristic red swirled stripes of today

Back in the early 17th century in Cologne, Germany, a local church priest had a hard time with children sitting quietly during services on Christmas Eve.  Growing frustrated, he came up with the idea of giving them candy to appease them during the ceremony.  To make the candy more fitting for the holiday, the priest had the local candy maker put a bend at the end of the usual straight white sweet sticks of candy which made it resemble a shepherd's staff.  This would correspond with the story of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus after he was born.

Original candy canes where white until stripes and peppermint flavoring where added in the late 1800s.

This idea caught on and spread all over Europe over the ages and then, the world.  In the late 1800s, peppermint flavoring was introduced as well as the concept of adding a red stripe which was quickly becoming a traditional color of Christmas which represented the blood that was shed by Jesus when he was crucified.

In the early 1900s, candy canes started to become mass produced.

In the early 1900s following the industrial revolution in America, candy canes as we know them, began to be mass produced.  Today it is still customary for some organizations to hand candy canes out to young children at Christmas time.

Today, in addition to the traditional red and white striped canes, they available in a variety of colors and flavors

Related Posts:

The Origin of Valentine's Day
The Origin and History of Halloween
Christmas, The 12 Days of Christmas, and Santa Claus
The Origin of Yuletide
The Origin of St. Patrick's Day
The Origin of Thanksgiving

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