National Candy Cane Day

Celebrated on the day after Christmas, on December 26th, National Candy Cane Day is another excuse to extend the holiday season a little bit longer and use up all of those candy canes that are lying around the house. It’s also a good day to enjoy a candy that’s over 176 years old, and a treat that has been used as a decoration for Christmas trees since the early 1880s.

The History Of Candy Canes

While the history of National Candy Cane Day has been lost to history, as far as we can tell, the history of candy canes is a little clearer—although far from definitive. It’s believed that candy canes were first invented during the mid to late 17th century when the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sticks made of sugar to his choir singers to keep them quiet during the Living Creche ceremony.

Although those weren’t peppermint-flavored or had the characteristic red and white striped design that modern candy canes have, they were nonetheless an early version of the candy.

It’s also believed that it was the Germans who decided to add a hook to the end of these sticks so they could be hung from Christmas tree branches. In the United States, the all-white candy cane was invented in 1847. The concept was brought over by August Imgard, a German-Swedish immigrant to the U.S.

For most of their history, candy canes were white. In fact, they remained white for the next 150 years. They wouldn’t get their characteristic red and white stripe design until the early 1900s. These early candy canes were made by hand and were often passed out for St. Nicholas Day.

Fun Facts About Candy Canes

Below are some fun facts about candy canes that most of our readers are going to get a kick from.

  • The world’s largest candy cane was 63 feet tall and was made in 2011.
  • An average 5-inch candy cane only has 40-50 calories and weighs a mere half-ounce.
  • Some people turn their candy canes upside down to make a “J” that represents Jesus Christ.
  • White candy canes were said to represent the purity of Jesus.

Celebrating National Candy Cane Day

Celebrating this holiday is probably easier for many people than celebrating other holidays because they likely have quite a stockpile of candy canes left over from Christmas. That makes this holiday a good opportunity for people to lessen their stash by giving away candy canes to friends, family, and neighbors.

Willing participants can also use the hashtag #NationalCandyCaneDay on their social media sites to let everyone know they’re having a candy cane celebration. Finally, the last way that this holiday can be celebrated is by enjoying one of the many candy cane-flavored treats that are usually available this time of year or by making their own.

Treats that include candy cane ice cream, Candy Cane Crunch Rice Krispy Treats, or even just dunking a candy cane stick into their morning coffee.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 26 Thursday
Next year (2025)
December 26 Friday
Last year (2023)
December 26 Tuesday
Food & Drinks