The Origin of Candy Canes

Candy Canes - Origin

In terms of candy that represents Christmas, the number one choice must be candy canes. These distinct red and white striped hooks are loved both as a food and as a decorative symbol of the season. But what does it mean?

Sugar candy sticks were a part of Christmas treats and decorations during the 1600s, though the first ones were straight in shape and plain white. The first curved shape is attributed to a celebration at a cathedral, in which the choirmaster bent the sticks into the shape of a shepherd’s crook to distribute to children. It was not until the 1900s, however, that the red stripes were added to the traditional design.

People attribute religious meaning to the candy canes. Besides the shepherd’s crook, a symbol of Jesus, it is noted that the shape is a J, for Jesus. The white and red is said to symbolize purity and the blood sacrificed by Jesus for humanity. Whichever is the right answer, there is no denying that this beloved treat has a rich and colorful history.

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