Learn about the history and legends of the candy cane.
Legend has it that in 1670, the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sugar sticks among his young singers to keep them quiet during the long Living Creche ceremony. In honor of the occasion, he had the candies bent into shepherds' crooks.
In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant named August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decorated a small blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes. It wasn't until the turn of the century that the red and white stripes and peppermint flavors became the norm.
Photo Source: National Confectioners Association
In Indiana, a candy maker wanted to make a candy that could be a reminder of Jesus Christ, so he made the Christmas candy cane. He started off with a stick of pure white hard candy. The white color symbolized the virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and the hard candy symbolized the solid rock which was the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of God.
The candy maker made the candy in the form of a J, which represented the name of Jesus and the staff of the Good Shepherds. He then stained it with three stripes which showed the scourging Jesus received, and symbolized the blood shed by Christ on the cross. When you break the cane, it reminds us that Jesus' body was broken for us.
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