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The History Of The Candy Cane

By Edited Aug 2, 2016 2 8

The History Of The Candy Cane

The history of the candy cane turns out to be a very controversial subject. Statements have been published with several different variations as to the exact origin of this Christmas favorite.

Strolling through the articles that can be found on line will get the user even more confused, rather then provide any solid insight into the true beginnings of this tasty treat.

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Actual records and historical newspapers exist, that show this type of sugar treat starting out as a straight white stick of candy. This is perhaps the only fact that can be taken as true about the history behind the candy cane.

Christians have for centuries taken credit for the hooked shape, saying it stood for Jesus, with the red stripes representing his shed blood. These facts are routinely objected to around the world as fictional wives' tales.

Other stories exist about the shape, that a preacher or priest gave them out to children to keep them quiet and bent the hook to make it look like a Shepherd's staff. This too you could find sources that will dispute its legitimacy.

The coloring wrapped around a white shaft of candy didn't become evident until after 1900 and this we know because of early postcards and advertisements from that era with images of candy canes.

Some say an immigrant from Germany was the first to use the treats in America in 1847 but this is also disputed.

There are no real records that would tell us when the first candy canes came to America. Europeans were using them to decorate their Christmas trees for hundreds of years and it's hard to believe that they only became popular in the Americas at that late date.

Another story tells of the candy cane being used by Christians in Europe to show there beliefs to one another in some sort of secret handshake type of thing.

This is also assumed a myth now because they were then the majority and would have no call to keep their beliefs a secret.

I started out to write an article to help people learn of the origins of this candy. Help to add my insight to the vat of knowledge that is the Internet.

What I've succeeded at accomplishing was to raise the question even more. What I believe is that the beginnings of this piece of confectionery are far to obscure and opinionated to reach a conclusion. This will leave only one possible solution.

Just eat them, enjoy them as decorations pass them to the children and watch there smiles. Let this prove that not all things must be completely understood to bring us happiness.

This small item concocted with sugar and colorful decoration is delightful no matter where it comes from and is sure to be a continued tradition for years to come.



Dec 20, 2010 3:53pm
Whatever their origins, candy canes are a sweet treat and wonderful reminder of the Christmas season. Thanks for the info.
Dec 20, 2010 4:19pm
They sure are I love em. Thanks for the visit.
Dec 21, 2010 6:32am
I had one the other day, the first time since I was a kid. I instinctively made the sharp "point" from sucking on it - just like I did back in the day.

Killer article by the way. From an academic historical perspective, it is interesting to watch certain groups push their way into a certain role among popular items and ideas.
Dec 21, 2010 7:30am
Thank you I was afraid I was going to get a lot of flack because I couldn't come up with factual evidence to prove anything one way or another. I guess it's just one of those things that nobody really knows the truth.
Dec 21, 2010 5:37pm
Wow! Lots of things to consider here. Well presented. But after reading about the shed blood, I might have a Snickers instead! :)
Dec 21, 2010 7:54pm
Me too, I wish I had a better answer but I think enough have been fabricated already. Thanks for the visit.
Dec 28, 2010 10:14pm
Very interesting article. You are right - let's just eat and enjoy them. Thanks for sharing.
Mar 24, 2011 4:45am
Thats what I did all my life southerngirl why stop now. A belated thanks for the visit, glad you enjoyed it.
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