The Legend of the Candy Cane
What do you think of when you see a candy cane? Why, Christmas of course! Who invented candy canes and how did they get their unique design and flavor? Here’s the story . . . dating all the way back to a Christmas more than 300 years ago!
You probably know that most candy canes are red and white, but you can decorate this candy cane with your own design!
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A Sweet Idea
Once upon a time (in the late 1600s) German people attended living nativity scenes at church. Children had to be quiet and sit still through the long service, but it was very difficult! The young singers in the choir often fidgeted while waiting for their turn to sing in the program.
The first candy canes did not have any stripes. They were pure white.
One day a choir director had a brilliant idea! He gave the children at his church white sugar sticks to keep them quiet during the service. According to legend, the choir director bent the sticks to look like shepherds’ crooks. These were the first candy canes in history!
The sugar sticks became popular throughout Europe. Many churches began passing them out to children who attended the live nativity ceremonies. Then people in Europe started decorating their Christmas trees with the sugar sticks.
Some candy makers decorated the candy cane sticks with sugar roses.
August Imgard was a German-Swedish immigrant who moved to America. In 1847, he decorated a blue spruce Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio. He decorated the tree with candy canes and paper ornaments. That was the first known candy cane decorated tree in the United States! Candy canes were still all white.