Candy Canes


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Kaylee Reid, Managing Editor

With Christmas right around the corner everybody is ready for the food, gifts, decorating, and snow. Not everyone thinks about the candy that revolves around Christmas. No, not chocolates or little candy that parents put into their kids’ stockings. We are talking about candy canes. The original red and white peppermint, starburst, jolly rancher, sour patch kids, etc. Candy canes can be many assorted flavors, colors, and sizes. It has been said that candy canes date back to as far as 1670. When the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral handed out little peppermint sticks to keep the children to keep them quiet. He even bent them, so they look like shepherds’ canes for the ceremony. Another theory is that the choirmaster gave the children candy because they were fidgety. In church sweets were not allowed so he bent them so they would represent a staff. It is believed that candy canes date back to the 17th century because pulled sugar or sugar sticks were extremely popular in Germany. Then, one day that started to have hooks in them. Another theory is that Germanys started to put a hook in them to be able to hang them in trees, as we still do today. In 1847 candy canes made their way over to America. When a German-Swedish immigrant decorated a tree with candy canes and paper ornaments. It is said that for 200 years, before mass-production, candy canes were just white. During the 20th century the red stripe was added. In an NCA survey it found out that 28% of people eat candy canes from the hook and 72% of people start at the long end. Eventually over the years candy canes developed a “meaning” to them. That the red stripe was the blood shed by Jesus and the white is Jesus forgiving us of our sins. Sometimes there is a green stripe added to remind us that Jesus is an everlasting gift. Candy canes will always be around, and their meanings may change one day. Nobody really knows the true history about candy canes. We know they came from Germany and that they are a popular treat during Christmas time. People love to put up candy cane decorations, hang them on the tree, and put them in children’s stockings.