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Each day, a special Advent-themed Daily Jolt, with an opportunity for reflection and a microChallenge. Some of the reflections come from unlikely sources, and the challenges help you to take an action, usually a small one, based on the reflection.

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December 22nd, 2008

Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Where Do Candy Canes Come From?

 
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Advent Fast Fact

Q. True or False: Candy canes were originally made by a candy maker in the shape of a “J” with red stripes to represent the “stripes” of Jesus’ scourging?

A. False. Candy canes have very little religious origins other than the following: Straight white candy sticks and cookies were often used throughout the Christmas season, and placed on Christmas trees when Europeans started using Christmas trees.

Around 1670, at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, restless youngsters were attending ceremonies near the Christmas living creche scene. The choirmaster persuaded craftsmen to make sticks of candy bent at the end to represent shepherds’ crooks to give to the children to keep them quiet.

Any additional meaning given to the candies is revisionist history at best, and while there’s nothing wrong with attaching these added meanings to the longtime tradition there is no historical basis to them.

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