©Michael Krigline, MA (2015), EFLsuccess.com⇔
A brief introduction to Christmas Candy Canes (拐杖糖)⇔
According to legend, an English candy maker in the 1700’s created the candy cane to express his faith at Christmastime.
Since Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday, he chose white to symbolize the purity of this holy child. The original flavor was zesty peppermint, chosen for its strength (a big spoonful flavors 50 kg of candy!), and to recall the spices given to the baby Jesus by visiting Wise Men. The candy maker wrapped a wide red stripe into his creation to represent the sacrifice of Christ (whose “blood” made forgiveness and a relationship with God possible). Next, he added three smaller stripes to represent the Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Finally, he bent the candy to shape the first letter of Jesus’ name. Upside down, the candy cane looks like a shepherd’s “crook” (or stick)—reminding us of both the shepherds in the Christmas story and of Jesus, the “Good Shepherd.” The “J” shape also allowed candy canes to be hung from Christmas trees, which may also be why it has been a popular Christmas symbol and treat for over 200 years!
Today, you can find candy canes in many colors and flavors, but my favorite will always be the “original design,” which is not only delicious, but also reminds me of the unique and enduring way that a common candy-maker expressed his faith at Christmastime.
(For more information about Christmas, see these Christmas pages (underlined topics are on EFLsuccess.com or Krigline.com; others are on our older website): Christmas (international celebration), the song “Silent Night” and Chinese Christmas apples, the traditional Christmas story, who is Santa (圣诞老人)?, candy canes, Christmas Perspectives (poem), and the pre-Christmas Advent season. Also look for Christmas wallpaper on our old website. You’ll also find movie study guides on this website (or our old site) for some great holiday films: A Snoopy/Charlie Brown Christmas, Last Holiday, White Christmas, The Grinch, Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life)
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