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The Christmas Candy Cane

Of all of the Christmas traditions, consuming and decorating with Candy canes at Christmas is arguably the sweetest of them all. Candy canes are probably the first thing that most people think of when asked to name a Christmas candy or when thinking about a candy that is most associated with the holidays. Their image alone has become a symbol that conjures up thoughts of Christmas. While the candy cane now seemingly comes in all sizes, colors and flavors imaginable (as can be seen on the right and left side of this page), traditionally they are most identified as being red and white striped and tasting like peppermint. But why does the candy cane have that flavor, color scheme and shape? Many don't realize that candy canes were originally just plain white and that they were, in their earliest form, straight. So how did candy canes become such a staple of our confectionary enjoyment of the Christmas holiday season, when and why were candy canes given their unique characteristics that have made them a symbol of Christmas, what do they represent, if anything, and how are they made?

Origins of the Candy Cane

Candy Cane Meanings

Given the time period, around 1900, when many of the elements of the candy cane were added, it would be foolish to dismiss these elements as having had no religious meaning or connection whatsoever. Granted, as each year goes by, Christmas becomes more secularized and now fewer people associate Christmas with the birth of Jesus Christ, but back then they did. Most people didn't celebrate Christmas if they were not Christians and didn't believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior; Jesus and Christmas were inseparable. And by the time the red stripes and peppermint flavor were added, candy canes had become associated with Christmas, so much so that they appeared on Christmas cards and were handed out at Christmas church services. Granted the person who added the color and flavor could have done so because he or she liked the way it looked and tasted, but chances are they were added for a reason, whatever that may be...

How Candy Canes are Made

 

 

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