National Candy Cane Day – December 26th

National Candy Cane Day is a joyous celebration dedicated to one of the most iconic holiday treats – the candy cane. Observed annually on December 26th, this special day pays homage to the striped confection that has become synonymous with the festive season. With its origins dating back centuries, the candy cane holds a rich history and a significant place in holiday traditions around the world.

This article delves into the fascinating world of candy canes, exploring their history, symbolism, delicious recipes, fun facts, and much more. Join us as we unravel the enchanting story behind National Candy Cane Day and discover the delights of this sugary holiday treat.

1. Introduction to National Candy Cane Day

What is National Candy Cane Day?

Ah, National Candy Cane Day. The magical day when we honor that iconic striped treat that brings joy and happiness to candy lovers everywhere. It’s a day dedicated to indulging in the minty, sugary goodness of candy canes and celebrating their place in our holiday traditions.

Origin and significance of National Candy Cane Day

Now, you might be wondering how this delightful holiday came to be. Well, it turns out that National Candy Cane Day was established to recognize the timeless charm and nostalgia that candy canes bring during the holiday season. It’s a day to appreciate the sweet memories tied to these festive treats and to share the love with friends, family, and anyone with a sweet tooth!

2. The History and Significance of Candy Canes

The Origins of Candy Canes

Folklore recounts the fascinating tale of the candy cane’s origin, although there is no concrete evidence to support its true beginnings. The first written references to this delightful treat can be found in literature dating back to 1866, and it was officially associated with Christmas in 1874. Surprisingly, as far back as 1882, people have been adorning their Christmas trees with these sweet and iconic candy canes.

The Symbolism Behind Candy Canes

Beyond their delicious taste, candy canes have taken on symbolic meanings over the years. Some believe that the shape of a candy cane represents the staff carried by shepherds, adding a touch of biblical significance to these sugary treats. Others see the candy cane’s red and white stripes as a representation of the purity and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So you could say that indulging in a candy cane is like taking a small bite of holiday history!

Evolution of Candy Cane Designs

Over time, candy cane designs have become more elaborate, featuring twists, curves, and mesmerizing colors. While the classic red and white stripes remain a favorite, you can now find candy canes in every shade of the rainbow. From fruity flavors to unconventional patterns, there’s a candy cane out there for every taste and preference. It’s safe to say that candy canes have evolved from a simple treat to a beloved symbol of holiday cheer.

3. Fun Facts and Trivia about Candy Canes

Did you know? Fascinating Facts about Candy Canes

Here are a few tidbits to impress your friends at your next holiday gathering: Did you know that candy canes were once handcrafted and shaped into various figures like hearts, stars, and even animals? Talk about edible art! And how about this: approximately 1.76 billion candy canes are produced each year. That’s enough to stretch from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again!

  • The average candy cane is about 5 inches tall.
  • Most candy canes aren’t sugar or calorie-free, but at least they don’t have any fat or cholesterol.
  • Striped red and white candy canes were first introduced way back in 1900.
  • Before 1921, they were all made by hand until Brasher O. Westerfield invented a machine to make ’em.
  • Bob McCormack and his brother-in-law/priest Gregory Keller took candy cane making to a whole new level. It all started as a little homemade treat for McCormack’s friends and family, but then Keller came up with this genius machine that allowed Bobs Candies to go big time.
  • Peppermint is the classic choice for candy canes. But, there’s a whole bunch of other flavors out there too.
  • The pastry chef named Alain Roby from Geneva holds the Guinness World Record for making the longest candy cane ever. It measures a whopping 51 feet long!

Unusual Uses of Candy Canes

Believe it or not, candy canes have found their way into some unexpected places. People have used crushed candy canes to sprinkle over desserts, stirred them into hot chocolate for an extra kick of flavor, and even incorporated them into cocktails for a festive twist. So if you ever find yourself with a surplus of candy canes, get creative and explore the world of candy cane culinary adventures!

Candy Cane World Records

When it comes to candy canes, there seems to be no shortage of record-breaking feats. The world’s largest candy cane ever made measured a jaw-dropping 51 feet long. That’s one colossal candy cane! And let’s not forget about the record for the most candy canes licked in one minute. It’s safe to say that some people take their love for candy canes to a whole new level!

4. Celebrating National Candy Cane Day: Traditions and Activities

Traditional Ways of Celebrating National Candy Cane Day

On National Candy Cane Day, it’s only fitting to indulge in the time-honored tradition of enjoying a candy cane or two (or maybe even three). Whether you savor the classic peppermint flavor or explore the world of delicious cane creations, take a moment to appreciate the simple pleasure of this holiday treat. Share a candy cane with a loved one, hang it on your Christmas tree, or simply let the sugary sweetness transport you to a winter wonderland of joy.

Fun Activities for National Candy Cane Day

Looking for ways to make National Candy Cane Day even sweeter? How about hosting a candy cane-tasting party? Gather an assortment of candy canes, blindfold your friends and family, and let them try to guess the flavors. It’s a fun game that’s sure to bring laughs and sugary smiles. You can also get crafty and create candy cane-inspired decorations, wreaths, or even handmade ornaments. The possibilities are as endless as the joy a candy cane brings.

Candy Cane-themed Decorations and Crafts

Speaking of decorations, why not add a touch of candy cane charm to your holiday décor? From adorning your tree with candy cane ornaments to creating wreaths and garlands with real or faux candy canes, you can bring the festive spirit into every corner of your home. And if you’re feeling extra crafty, try making candy cane reindeer or using candy canes as stirrers for your hot beverages. These DIY projects will not only add a whimsical touch to your celebrations but also provide a delicious snack whenever the craving strikes.

So, embrace the joy and magic of National Candy Cane Day. Treat yourself to a candy cane, share it with loved ones, and revel in the sugary bliss that only this striped delight can bring. After all, life is too short to resist the allure of a candy cane!

5. Delicious Candy Cane Recipes to Try

Classic Candy Cane Dessert Recipes

What’s National Candy Cane Day without indulging in some classic candy cane desserts? From peppermint bark to candy cane cookies, these recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling merry and bright.

Savory Dishes Incorporating Candy Canes

Did you know that candy canes don’t only belong in desserts? Discover the unexpected world of savory dishes that incorporate candy canes. From candy cane-crusted lamb chops to candy cane-infused sauces, these recipes will add a unique twist to your holiday menu.

Refreshing Candy Cane-inspired Beverages

Quench your thirst and get in the holiday spirit with refreshing candy cane-inspired beverages. Enjoy a candy cane hot chocolate, peppermint mojito, or candy cane milkshake. These drinks are perfect for cozy nights by the fire or festive gatherings with friends.

Homemade Candy Cane Recipe

Here are two recipes for making candy canes at home:


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Red food coloring


  1. Prepare Ingredients: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust it lightly with powdered sugar. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Cook the Mixture: Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and let the mixture boil without stirring until it reaches 300°F (hard crack stage). This may take around 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add Flavoring: Remove the pan from heat and stir in the peppermint extract. Be cautious as the mixture will release strong peppermint fumes.
  4. Divide and Color: Divide the mixture into two equal parts. Keep one part white and add red food coloring to the other part. Knead the red color into the candy until it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Shape the Candy Canes: Working quickly while the candy is still pliable, pull and stretch each portion until it becomes firm enough to handle. Roll each color into long ropes, making one thicker than the other. Twist the ropes together and carefully shape them into candy canes.
  6. Set and Break: Let the candy canes cool and harden on the prepared baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes. Once hardened, break them into individual canes.
  7. Storage: Store the candy canes in an airtight container at room temperature.

Easy Candy Cane Bark Recipe


  • 12 ounces white chocolate (chopped or in chips)
  • 6 regular-sized candy canes, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
  • Red gel food coloring (optional)


  1. Prepare the Candy Canes: Crush the candy canes into small pieces by placing them in a zip-top bag and using a rolling pin or by pulsing them in a food processor. Set aside.
  2. Melt the Chocolate: In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring well between each interval until smooth. Be cautious not to overheat the chocolate.
  3. Add Flavor and Color: If desired, stir in the peppermint extract for extra flavor. Optionally, divide the melted chocolate into two portions and tint one portion with red gel food coloring.
  4. Assemble the Bark: On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the white chocolate evenly to your desired thickness. If using the red-colored chocolate, dollop it over the white chocolate and swirl it with a toothpick or skewer to create a marbled effect.
  5. Decorate with Candy Canes: While the chocolate is still melted, sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top, gently pressing them into the chocolate.
  6. Set and Break: Allow the bark to set at room temperature or in the refrigerator until completely hardened. Once set, break the bark into pieces.
  7. Serve or Store: Serve the candy cane bark as a treat or package it in an airtight container for storage.

Enjoy making these delightful homemade candy canes!

6. Exploring the Various Flavors and Variations of Candy Canes

Popular Flavors of Candy Canes

When it comes to candy canes, the classic peppermint flavor takes the lead. But did you know there are other popular flavors too? Discover the wide range of candy cane flavors, from cinnamon to berry blast, and find your new favorite.

Unique and Unusual Candy Cane Flavors

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try some unique and unusual candy cane flavors? From bacon to wasabi, the world of candy canes has some surprising combinations. Step outside your comfort zone and give these unconventional flavors a try.

Specialty Candy Cane Variations

Candy canes aren’t just red and white stripes anymore. Explore the world of specialty candy cane variations, from rainbow-colored canes to giant-sized ones. These creative twists on the classic candy will add a touch of whimsy to your holiday celebrations.

7. Candy Canes in Popular Culture: Movies, Songs, and References

In Holiday Movies

Candy canes have made appearances in countless holiday movies, often becoming an iconic symbol of the season. From Buddy the Elf’s love for them in “Elf” to the memorable candy cane forest in “The Polar Express,” these sweet treats have a starring role in Hollywood’s holiday productions.

Candy Cane References in Music and Songs

From lyrics that mention candy canes to festive jingles that capture the holiday spirit, candy canes have made their way into the world of music. Sing along to songs like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Candy Cane Lane” as you celebrate National Candy Cane Day.

Representation of Candy Canes in Literature and Art

Candy canes have been depicted in various forms of art and literature, symbolizing everything from holiday cheer to the joy of childhood. Explore the rich imagery of candy canes in holiday stories, paintings, and illustrations, and appreciate the cultural significance they hold.

8. The Future of Candy Canes: Trends and Innovations

Emerging Trends in Candy Cane Flavors and Designs

Get a sneak peek into the future of candy canes with emerging trends in flavors and designs. From gourmet flavors to intricate patterns, candy canes are evolving to cater to the tastes and preferences of modern candy enthusiasts.

Technological Advancements in Candy Cane Production

Believe it or not, candy cane production has seen technological advancements too. Discover how modern techniques and machinery have revolutionized the process of making candy canes, resulting in improved quality and efficiency.

Exploring Sustainable and Eco-friendly Candy Cane Options

In an era focused on sustainability, even candy canes are becoming more eco-friendly. Learn about the efforts to create sustainable candy cane options, including biodegradable packaging and sourcing ethically produced ingredients. Now you can enjoy your favorite holiday treat guilt-free.

In Short

As National Candy Cane Day comes to a close, we reflect on the joy and sweetness that this beloved holiday treat brings to our lives. From its humble beginnings to its enduring popularity, the candy cane has become an iconic symbol of the holiday season.

Whether you enjoy them as a tasty treat, use them to decorate your home, or incorporate them into delightful recipes, candy canes bring a touch of whimsy and nostalgia to our celebrations. So, as we bid farewell to National Candy Cane Day, let us carry the spirit of these delightful confections with us throughout the year, spreading joy and sweetness wherever we go.

Image by wirestock on Freepik


1. How did National Candy Cane Day originate?

National Candy Cane Day originated as a way to celebrate and appreciate the beloved candy cane during the holiday season. Although the exact origins of the observance are unclear, it has gained popularity over the years as a fun and festive occasion to honor this iconic holiday treat.

2. Are candy canes only enjoyed during the Christmas season?

While candy canes are closely associated with Christmas, they can be enjoyed throughout the year. The traditional red-and-white striped candy canes are most prevalent during the holiday season, but nowadays, you can find candy canes in an array of colors and flavors that can be enjoyed at any time.

3. Can I make candy canes at home?

Yes, making candy canes at home is possible, though it can be a labor-intensive process. It typically involves boiling sugar syrup, shaping the candy canes by hand, and allowing them to cool and harden. Various recipes and tutorials are available online for those interested in trying their hand at making homemade candy canes.

4. Are there any unique candy cane flavors to explore?

Absolutely! While traditional peppermint-flavored candy canes remain popular, there is a wide array of unique and unconventional flavors to explore. From fruity flavors like cherry or watermelon to decadent options like chocolate or caramel, candy cane manufacturers have introduced a diverse range of flavors to cater to different taste preferences.

Urza Omar
  • Urza Omar
  • The writer has a proven track as a mentor, motivational trainer, blogger, and social activist. She is the founder of a blog intended for avid readers.