The history of the Candy Cane

Posted On October 21, 2006

Filed under Christmas Candy Canes

Comments Dropped 4 responses

So, you buy candy canes for the kids or for the decorations every year but do you really know where they come from?

The candy cane is a Christmas tradition that many hold dear but nobody really knows why. Let’s face it, the only things we really know about candy canes is that they taste good and that they are red and white.

Whether the story of the candy cane is a legend or if it is true is not certain, but this is how the story goes: About two hundred-thirty years ago at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, the children that went to church there were really loud and noisy. They often moved around and would not pay attention to the choirmaster.

This was especially difficult for the choirmaster when they were supposed to be sitting still for the long living Nativity ceremony. So to keep the children quiet, he gave them a long, white, sugar candy stick. He couldn’t give them chocolate or anything like that because the people at that church would think it was sacrilegious. So he gave them the stick and he bent it on the end to look like a cane. It was meant to look like a shepherd’s cane, and so it reminded the children of the shepherds at Jesus’ birth.

In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant in Wooster, Ohio put candy canes on his Christmas tree and soon others were doing the same. Sometime around 1900 candy canes came to look more like what we know them as today with the red stripes and peppermint flavoring.

Some people say the white color represents the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the wounds he suffered. They also sometimes say that the peppermint flavoring represents the hyssop herb used for purifying and spoken of in the Bible. The shape also looks like the letter “J” for Jesus, not just a shepherd’s cane. It is possible that these things were added for religious symbols, but there is no evidence that is true.

Around 1920, a man in Georgia named Bob McCormack wanted to make candy canes for his family and friends. He later started mass-producing candy canes for his own business which he named Bob’s Candies. This is where many of our candy canes come from today.


4 Responses to “The history of the Candy Cane”

  1. Caroline

    I really like to eat candy canes too!

  2. grhomeboy

    Who doesn’t? 🙂

    A Merry Christmas to you Caroline!

  3. Christian


  4. grhomeboy

    May I suggest to read these two articles, which I am sure will answer all your questions >

    1) The Greek Origin of Xmas
    Filed under: Greece, Cyprus, Xmas From A to Z
    Where did Xmas come from?
    Some transliterations of Greek spell Christos (Jesus Christ) as Xristos. The “X” stood in for Christos.
    While in modern times we regard Xmas as a kind of slang, it was originally considered to be a perfectly respectful abbreviation, especially as it included a form of the cross in the shape of the “X”.

    The link to this article is >

    2) The Origin of “Xmas”
    Filed under: Xmas Traditions, Xmas From A to Z
    Abbreviations used as Christian symbols have a long history in the church. The letters of the word “Christ” in Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written, or various titles for Jesus early became symbols of Christ and Christianity. For example, the first two letters of the word Christ (cristoV, or as it would be written in older manuscripts, CRISTOS) are the Greek letters chi (c or C) and rho (r or R). These letters were used in the early church to create the chi-rho monogram (see Chrismons), a symbol that by the fourth century became part of the official standard of the emperor Constantine.
    Related Links >

    The link to this article is >

    And let me explain this also > Xmas as an abbreviation in this blog’s categories is used only for practical reasons mostly due to the fact of creating categories grouped into different sections. If you are familiar with website design I am sure you will appreciate the facts.

    Merry Christmas!