|Purred: Tue Dec 16, '08 10:57pm PST |
|The Legend of the Candy Cane
While many of our Christmas traditions have origins that are pagan, the candy cane is steeped in Christian symbolism. According to legend, many years ago, a candy maker wanted to make a candy at Christmas time that would serve as a witness to his Christian faith. He wanted to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus. He began with a stick of pure white hard candy, white to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus; hard to symbolize the solid rock the foundation of the Church; and firmness to represent the promise of God. Because Jesus is known as the "Good Shepherd," the candy maker fashioned the candy in the shape of a shepherd's staff. The crook on a shepherd's staff helps to bring back the strayed sheep of a fold that have gone astray, and the candy maker wanted to remind us that we are our brother's keepers. Also, by turning it upside down, it formed a "J" to represent the name of Jesus who came to earth as as the Savior.
Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it with red stripes. He used three small strips to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received, and the large red strip was for the blood shed by Christ on the Cross as payment for our sins. Unfortunately, the candy became recognized as a candy cane and was known more as a decoration than for its original intended purpose. But the true meaning is still there for those who recall this legend when seeing a candy cane hanging from a branch on the family Christmas tree.
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