Do you feel a merry jingle in your jangle? Or perhaps the faint whiff of peppermint that tickles your nostrils? If yes, then my dear friend, you have just prepared yourself for the sweetest day of the year, National Candy Cane Day. Strap on your elf shoes and let's take a fun, sugary spiral down the Candy Cane Lane!
It's national candy cane day on the 26th December.
Some might argue that every day should be Candy Cane Day, but the Internet has set the record straight. The candy-striped, sugary treat gets its own special day each year on December 26, the day after Christmas. Our trusty online detectives spotted 2190 mentions of this holiday, with a record-breaking sweetness overload on Dec 26, 2016.
Guess what, Candy Canes weren't originally canes! Yes, you heard it right. During the 17th century, they were straight sugar-sticks. The 'hook' shape was introduced around the 1670s in Germany. The choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral would bend these sticks into the shape of a shepherd’s staff and hand them out to children during church services, to keep them quiet (ingenious, right?)
So, how did this simple candy earn its stripes? Legend paints a story of a candy maker in Indiana who wanted to express the meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy. The 'J' shape represented Jesus, the three red stripes the Holy Trinity and the red color the blood of Christ. Originally white, the red stripes were added in the early 20th century. Whether true or not, this sweet story made way for the candy cane's march into the heart of Christmas and made it a staple on every Christmas tree.
The history of the candy cane begins in 1670 in Germany. It is believed that the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral handed out sugar sticks to quiet the children during the long Christmas Eve service. To make them look more like shepherd's staffs, he bent the sugar sticks into the shape of a cane.
The candy cane made its way to America in 1847 when a German immigrant named August Imgard decorated his Christmas tree with the candy canes. This was the first time the candy canes were hung on Christmas trees, and it quickly became a popular tradition.
The iconic red and white stripes of the candy cane were introduced in the early 1900s. It is said that the stripes represent the purity of Jesus Christ and the blood he shed on the cross. The red stripes also symbolize the stripes of the scourging Jesus endured before his crucifixion.
In the 1950s, candy canes started to be mass-produced by machines, making them more affordable and widely available. As a result, the candy cane's popularity soared, and it became a staple treat during the holiday season. Various flavors and colors were introduced, expanding the options available to consumers.
In 2005, the world's largest candy cane was created in Switzerland. This colossal candy cane measured 51 feet in length and weighed over 8,000 pounds. It was truly a sweet spectacle that captivated the world and showcased the enduring popularity of the candy cane.
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