Where did candy canes come from?

By Joan Hunt - ReminderNews Managing Editor
- posted Wed., Nov. 16, 2011
- Contributed Photo

The first candy canes were straight and did not have red stripes on them. Rather, they were the peppermint-flavored penny candy sticks that are still available today in apothecaries and other stores that sell old-fashioned candies. These candies were sometimes handed out during church services to keep the children from fussing and fidgeting.

The custom of shaping the sticks into bent canes and adding the red stripes came sometime in the early 1900s. It is said that the cane symbolizes the shepherd’s staff. The colors of a candy cane certainly have been associated with the purity of Christ (white) and His sacrifice (red, for blood), and if you turn a candy cane upside down, it makes a “J” for Jesus – but these properties of the candy cane are most likely unintentional.

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