Candy Canes and Choir Boys

Fergus is hiding again!

Candy+Canes+and+Choir+Boys

Ayla Faullin, reporter and feature writer

We’ve discussed hot chocolate, a popular drink widely recognized as a holiday treat, but let’s talk about another one of the most well-known Christmas treats. The candy cane. This white and red striped peppermint stick is an undeniable symbol of Christmas. Each year businesses make more than one billion candy canes, each 90% sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The history of the candy cane is not one hundred percent certain, nor the story behind the stripes, which were added long after its origin. 

The parent of the candy cane originated in 17th century Europe, called pulled sugars. According to legend, a German choirmaster gave these sugar sticks to his young boys to keep them quiet during a church ceremony. When the church board complained that it wasn’t proper to eat sweets during a service, the choirmaster bent the top of the treat to represent a shepherd’s crook to stop the complaints. 

The candy cane stripes also come from a deeper meaning, although they came much later. For a long time, the candy canes were just white, not striped as we know them. The candy cane stripes have a Christan meaning and may have been used to pass along messages between Christians during persecution, although this has never been confirmed. The white represents the purity of Jesus Christ, the big red stripe represents the blood he shed on the cross, and the smaller red stripes represent the scouring the Romans gave him. Sometimes, companies add a green stripe to symbolize that Jesus is a gift from God.

Nowadays, candy canes come in many flavors besides peppermint, from classic cherry to candy flavors like Sweet Tarts and Nerds to crazy flavors like a dill pickle. Peppermint is still the most popular flavor, making up 24% of holiday sales. But no matter what flavors you enjoy or why you celebrate Christmas, remember that candy canes are an excellent way to keep the choirboys quiet!

 

Fergus is hiding again! Can you find him? He left you a message!

‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas

And I was hiding again

When I discovered that

I had an inflatable friend! 

 

I’m sitting with him now.

If you can’t find me, it’d be tragic

I’ll give you a hint about him

His hat made him magic!