History of the candy cane
I found this in a local Assisted Living Facility news letter and found it interesting enough to share ! ! !
The origin of the candy cane goes back over 350 years when candy-makers were making sugar sticks. The original candy was straight and completely white...
Around the seventeenth entury, European Christians began to use trees as part of their Christmas celebrations. They made special decorations for their trees from foods like cookies and sugar stick-candy. The first historical reference to the familiar cane shape goes back to 1670, when the choirmaster at the Cologne Catherdal in Germany, bent the sugar-sticks into canes to represent a shepard's staff. The all white candy canes were then given to the children during the long-winded nativity services.
The custom of handing out candy canes during Christmas services spread throughout Europe and later came to America. The first historical refernece being in America was back in 1847.
The stripes came about 50 years later and no one knows who invented the stripes, but Christmas cards prior to 1900 showed only white candy canes, and stripes came after the 1900's.
Sweet secrets of the candy cane depict it as a secret symbol for Christianity used during the times when Christians were living under more oppressive circumstances. It is said that the cane was shaped like a "J" for Jesus. The red-and-white stripes represented Christ's blood and purity. The three red stripes symbolized the Holy Trinity. The peppermint flavor represented the use of hyssop, an herb referred to in the Old Testament.
There is no historical evidence to support these claims, but they are lovely thoughts. G-Ma :O)