And It’s Fascinating History
The Christmas Tradition of using a white stick – Candy Cane – began as a way of decorating a Christmas Tree.
Legend has it that during the 17th century, craftsmen created straight white sticks of candy in the shape of shepherds’ crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
The treats were given to children to keep them quiet during ceremonies at the living creche, or Nativity scene, and the custom of passing out the crooks at such ceremonies soon spread throughout Europe.
In celebrations of Saint Nicholas Day, candy canes are given to children as they are also said to represent the crosier of the Christian bishop, Saint Nicholas; crosiers themselves allude to the Good Shepherd, a title associated with Jesus.
Some people explain the symbolism of a striped cane as white representing Christ’s purity, red the blood he shed, and the three red stripes the Holy Trinity.
In 1847 German immigrant August Imgard used the candy cane to decorate a Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio.
In 1919, Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia, made candy canes for family, friends and local shopkeepers. The canes were bent by hand as they came off the assembly line into the ‘J’ shape of a shepherd’s crook, so breakage was often over 20 percent.
In the 1920s, a cherubic child in a red-and-white hat sold peppermint candy cane to Albany natives in an advertisement for Bob’s candy company. McCormack was the first manufacturer to wrap his candy in cellophane.
Bobs moved to a larger facility in the 1930s so that it could expand its product lines and was one of the few candy companies to remain solvent during the Great Depression.
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