What’s red and white and sweet all over? Why candy canes, of course! Dec. 26 is National Candy Cane Day, an annual “holiday” that celebrates the swirl-icious holiday treats that are loads of fun to eat!
Whether you lick them, suck 'em or bite them, children and adults have been enjoying candy canes for centuries. While there is some debate as to their origin, French priests are often credited as inventing the all-white candy cane stick back in the 1400s. In 1670, a Cologne Cathedral choirmaster bent the candy stick into cane shapes to signify a shepherd’s staff and handed them out to children during church services. In 1847, an immigrant from Ohio decorated his Christmas tree with candy canes and the rest, as they say, is holiday history.
Some believe the shape of the candy cane signifies Jesus Christ. If you hold a candy cane upside down, it reveals the letter “J.” It is unknown who added the red and white stripes to the candy cane, which were first made around 1900.
While many of us think of the peppermint-flavored candy cane with red and white swirls, today’s candy canes are available in different flavors and colors. More than 1.76 billion candy canes are made annually.
Today is also National Thank You Note Day and Kwanzaa.