The candy cane is a hard sweet confection, flavored with peppermint. It is popular in the United States during the Christmas season.
Though the candy cane has been appropriated by secular culture, its origin is full of religious symbolism.
- The candy cane's shape represents a shepherd's staff (referring to the shepherds of the Gospel of Luke). Alternately, it may resemble the staff of Bishop Nicholas of Myra, the true origin of the secular Santa Claus legend.
- When turned upside-down, the candy cane forms a "J" for "Jesus".
- The stripes on the candy cane may represent the Trinity, and may also represent Jesus' bleeding wounds, on a background which is white (symbolizing purity).