When you think of candy canes, you think of the red and white canes that get hung on Christmas trees and are eaten during the holiday season. However, not many people know how this popular candy cane tradition came to be.
Around the beginning of the 17th century, Christians in Europe began to use Christmas trees as part of the Christmas celebrations. The trees were often decorated with cookies and sugar-stick candies. The first time the familiar cane shape came to be was in 1770, when the Cologne Cathedral in Germany first bent the candy sticks into the shape of a cane. They turned the sticks into canes to represent a shepherd’s staff. These all-white candy canes were then given to children during church services during the month of December. This tradition eventually spread throughout Europe, but it wasn’t until 1847 when candy canes were introduced to America. A German immigrant named August Imgard decorated his Christmas tree in Ohio with candy canes, and soon people in his town started to too. About 50 years later the peppermint flavored cane we all know today was invented, although no one knows who started making the canes with the mint flavor. People also don’t know who started making the candy canes with the red stripes.
All in all, candy canes have became a well known holiday candy that is eaten around the world. Whether it is used as decoration or just to be eaten they are a popular tradition during the holiday season. Do you get candy canes during the holiday season?
By Tristan Andaya
Photo Credits: daysoftheyear.com