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candy cane day

December 26th is National Candy Cane Day and there are a number of explanations as to where it originated. So many that I feel a lot of people simply wanted to create a tale that suited their purposes surrounding the candy.

Many of the stories on the birth of the candy cane give it Christian heritage, None of these are completely verified, but the Candy Cane does seem to be the Christmas candy most closely associated with Christmas.

The origin seems to be in 17th century Germany where the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral handed them out to the youngest singers to keep them quiet during the long passages when others were singing.  It’s said they were bent in their shape to represent the shepherds’ crooks or canes.  Another legend says they were invented in Indiana and bent in their cane shape to represent the letter J for Jesus.  According to that version the color white represented the purity of the Virgin Mary and the red the blood of Christ.

However the red an white color didn’t take hold until the turn of the Twentieth Century.  Bending the candy canes into the J shape remained a problem until the 1950’s when Gregory Keller, a Catholic priest, invented a machine that automated the production and bending of candy canes.

Candy Canes first appeared on a Christmas tree in 1847 when August Imgard, a German immigrant decorated a blue spruce tree in Ohio with paper ornaments and candy canes.

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