December 12, 2008

*Candy Canes: Why?

There are some who believe the candy cane is chock full of religious symbolism. As the legend goes, a candymaker wanted to produce a special Christmas candy. He made a "J" shape for Jesus's first initial...chose the color white to symbolize His purity...and entwined the white with red to symbolize the blood He shed for humanity's salvation.

All of this is pretty much bunk.

The original candy canes were all white and stick-straight. Red coloring is a fairly new addition, and the origin of the bend in the stick is up for debate. One tale says that a priest had them bent into the shape of a shepherd's staff and then handed them out to children in his church.

The more likely explanation is that the hook makes candy canes easy to hang from Christmas tree branches. Marketing probably came up with the change in shape to take advantage of seasonal sale possibilities. But that's not as much fun to tell people, is it?

Posted by Jennifer at December 12, 2008 12:22 AM | TrackBack