We all enjoy a sweet treat now and then. Some would bathe in dessert if possible, while others wait for a special occasion to indulge. At Christmastime, desserts and treats are in mass supply, at every corner, and given to thousands as a Secret Santa gift. And within all these symbolic treats, many receive the candy cane. Santa gives them to each child who comes to visit, they are hung on the tree, and they are used to flavour many a recipe. But what is the history and story behind this legendary candy? Here are the reasons why we eat candy canes at Christmas.

candy canes at Christmas
candy canes at Christmas

Origin

Legend has it that in Cologne Germany a live nativity would take place each Christmas Eve. But with Santa Claus coming that night, children would struggle to stay quiet and at attention during the service. To assist with keeping them quiet and occupied, the choirmaster summoned the local candy shop for peppermint sticks. These hopefully would keep the kids quiet during the ceremony. The shop keeper learned of the reasons behind wishing the confection and shaped them to resemble shepherd staffs.

Nativity Scene
Nativity Scene

More Facts

  • in 1857 a Swedish immigrant to Germany hung candy canes on the tree to symbolize their significance. This became noticed and a trend for centuries up to today.
  • To justify giving candy to the kids, it was always ensured that they would be in the shape of Shepherd staffs so children would connect with the nativity and those who came to watch the newborn king.
  • Some connect the letter “J” with a candy cane. The letter “J” is the first letter of Jesus’ name and therefore symbolizes the name of the newborn king.
  • Another theory with Christians is that the red symbolizes Jesus’ blood shed on the cross with the white symbolizing his purity and perfection.
  • Instead of shopping and battling the crowds, celebrate Candy Cane day on Boxing Day.
  • Nearly 2 Billion candy canes are made and eaten each year. Whoa!
  • On record, the largest candy cane ever created stands just over 50 feet high.
  • Santa around the world hands out nearly 4 million candy canes to children.
  • candy canes at Christmas are one of the most popular symbols used in Christmas cards, stationery, baking, and other traditions.
candy canes at Christmas
candy canes at Christmas

 

candy canes at Christmas
candy canes at Christmas

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