Christmas 2017: Significance of the ‘J shaped’ Candy Cane in Christmas

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Christmas is just around the corner and the vibe of celebrations and festivities across the globe is hard to ignore. No matter how good or bad your year has been, the year-end celebrations of Christmas and New years’ serve as an instant mood lifter and a reminder of how with each end comes a new beginning. How you must look back at whatever you have with gratitude and wish for the best in future, that is what the spirit of Christmas is all about. Celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Jesus, Christmas is observed each year on 25th December. Christmas also makes for one of the biggest festivals around the world, celebrated with much enthusiasm and fervor in more than 100 countries. Bushy Christmas trees, shiny stars, lilting bells and carols, fairy lights, gingerbread house, delectable cakes, puddings and indulgent savouries are some of the staples Christmas is incomplete without. Another very commonly seen symbol of Christmas is the candy cane. Sweet sugar sticks, shaped as a cane traditionally decorated in white with red stripes and flavored with peppermint are also a common motif in Christmas decorations, in addition to being one of the most significant festive treats. Ever wondered how did the peculiar shaped sweet treat become such a significant part of Christmas celebrations? Here’s a quick history and significance of our much loved Christmas candy cane.
 

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Significance of Christmas Candy Cane

Also known as ‘Santa’s cane’ and ‘Peppermint stick’, candy cane became a significant Christmas motif around 15th Century A.D. According to popular legend, it was around the snowy Christmas of 1670 in Germany that a clergy man decided to come up with the candy to make sure the children at the Colgne Cathedral are quiet through the plays reenacting the nativity (Jesus’ birth). The noise caused by children in his church during the nativity tradition of Christmas Eve could distract the members’ attention from the play and carols. To avoid this, the choirmaster asked a local candy maker to make a handful of ‘sugar sticks’ for the children participating in the nativity service.

This way he would also be in line with the tradition of giving out candies to children involved in worship services and remind them of the blessed occasion of Jesus’ birth. How you ask? Because of his special instruction to the candy maker to add a crook to the top of each stick, which would help children remember the shepherds who visited the infant Jesus. Some legends also state that the choirmaster particularly directed the candymaker to shape the candies in this way, as it would then resemble a J. The ‘J’ can also mean Jesus. The white colour on the cane, is said to represent the purity and the sin-less life of Christ while red stripes denote the blood he shed for humanity when he was crucified. The peppermint flavor is also said to have a symbolic value of its own. It is said to represent the hyssop plant in the Bible, which stood as a mark of purity.

 

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And that is how candy canes came to be associated with Christmas. Widely sold across markets during the whole of December, Candy canes are a hit with kids who cant stop chewing into the sugary and minty goodness. While the traditional red and white candy canes are the most sold ones, there are many different coloured variants available in the market too. This Christmas don’t forget to grab hold of your share too.

Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas 2017!

 

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