A candy cane is a kind of sweet that is very popular at Christmas time, especially in British and American cultures. A candy cane is hard, in the shape of a cane (or crook) and is traditionally coloured white with red stripes; however, other colour varieties really do exist.


The earliest form of a candy cane was a simple stick of candy for children, without the hook at the end. Although it is not certain where they originated from, candy canes were popular across Europe by the mid 1600s. The hook shape associated with candy canes is traditionally credited to a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany who (according to legend) bent straight candy sticks into crooks to represent a shepherds crook. The shepherd crook is symbolic is Christianity, alluding to Jesus being The Good Shepherd.

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