The holiday season is a busy time for us, here at Quality Candy. No candy embodies the Christmas spirit more than the candy cane.
King Leo first introduced our famous peppermint sticks back in 1901 but do you know the origin of this iconic holiday treat? Odds are you most likely don’t, as the invention of the candy cane is a much debated topic.
A lack of historical evidence makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact origin. There have been many claims of the invention of the candy cane with the oldest dating back to 1670. According to folklore, the candy cane can be traced back to 17th century Germany. The choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral sought to keep the choir children quiet during the Christmas Eve nativity scene.
The choirmaster asked a local candy maker to make sweet sticks to keep the children entertained during the nativity scene. To justify giving the children candy during the religious services, the choirmaster asked the candy maker to make a hook at the end of each stick, symbolizing the canes of the shepherds that visited infant Jesus.
Others claim that the candy cane was a much more recent invention and can be traced back to 20th century Indiana. According to the myth, a candy maker wanted to create a Christmas candy that would symbolize the life and death of Jesus Christ.
The white of the candy cane symbolized sinlessness. The red represented the scourging Jesus received by which Christians believe they are healed.
The crook at the end of the stick was meant to represent the letter “J,” the beginning letter of Jesus’s name.
Over time, the candy cane has shed its religious symbolism and has become a treat that both adults and kids enjoy. 1.7 billion candy canes are produced every single year and can be found all over the world during the holiday season.