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History of Christmas: The Candy Cane

Updated on December 5, 2011

History of the Candy Cane

When you think of Christmas, Candy Canes definitely come to mind. Used as decorations, and eaten by everyone, these sweet treats are awesome any way you look at it, but where did the tradition start?

The Candy Cane started in Cologne, Germany in 1670. A choirmaster had the idea at the local church of giving the children a sweet stick of candy to keep them quiet during the long Christmas Eve mass. He bent the ends of them to look like a shepherd's hook and to remind them of the bishop at the time. The first candy canes were white.

As Christmas became a more family-oriented holiday, families across Europe began using the white crooked canes as decorations on their Christmas trees. There is not an exact date as to when the red stripe was added but in pictures from before 1900 the canes are all white. Mint flavoring was also added around that time.

It is thought the red stripe was added to remind of us the stripes Jesus took right before his crucifixion and also to remind us of his eternal gift. The candy cane is also to remind of us that the sacrifice of Christ has made our souls white as snow.

Regardless, candy canes have been used as decorations for many centuries and are a delicious way to enjoy the season


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    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 6 years ago from Carmichael, California

      I read a story similar to this every year to my family. Thank you for sharing a bit more history about the candy cane. Have a wonderful day and Happy Holidays to you and your family.