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The Legend of the Candy Cane

According to legend there was a candy maker
who wanted to invent a candy
that was a witness to Christ.

First of all, he used a hard candy because Christ is the rock of ages.
This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble a “J” for Jesus or,
turned upside down, a shepherd’s staff.
He made it white to represent the purity of Christ.

Finally a red stripe was added to represent the blood
Christ shed for the sins of the world,
and three thinner red stripes for the stripes
He received on our behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped Him.
Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that
Jesus is a gift from God.

The flavor of the cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop.
Hyssop is in the mint family and was used in the Old Testament
for purification and sacrifice.
Jesus is the pure Lamb of God,
come to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

So, every time you see a candy cane,
remember the message of the candy maker:
Jesus is the Christ!


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Another Version

The symbol of the shepherds’ crook is an ancient one,
representing the humble shepherds who
were first to worship the newborn Christ.
Its counterpart is our candycane--so old as a symbol
that we have nearly forgotten its humble origin.

Legend has it that in 1670,
the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral handed out sugar sticks
among his young singers to keep them quiet
during the long Living Creche ceremony.
In honor of the occasion, he had the candies bent into shepherds’ crooks.
Legend also has it that in 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant
named August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decorated a small
blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes.

It wasn’t until the turn of the century that the red and white stripes
and peppermint flavors became the norm.

Although modern technology has made candy canes accessible and plentiful,
they’ve not lost their purity and simplicity
as a traditional holiday food
and symbol of the humble roots of Christianity.

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