The Connection Between Gingerbread Men And Christmas
When thinking about Christmas, we always think of giving presents to others and family. Aside from these two, nothing can compare to the thought of having dinner together with the family. Children love to eat something sweet after this banquet. And we tend to share around candy canes and chocolates. For most of us, what reminds us are these small cookies that we eat together with tea or milk. And it is a fun and tasty pastry that always tells us of home during the yuletide season. Of course, if there is a gingerbread man, there are also other shapes of it too, like pine trees, stars, and houses.
It All Began With The Gingerbread
Of course, gingerbread man will not be possible without the gingerbread. But first, let us talk about ginger for a second.
It is widely known that ginger was first cultivated in East Asia, especially in China at that time. The Chinese first use the root of this plant as a medicinal herb to treat various ailments. Around that time, ginger is also one of the widely used spice for cooking. And a few Europeans got a liking to it during the Silk Road trade. After it reached Europe, ginger is commonly used in the kitchen. Because it can mellow down the taste of preserved meats, masking it in the process.
Alright, let us discuss now gingerbread. Gingerbread refers to a family of baked goods such as bread, cookies, and other pastries. And that contains ginger as their primary flavoring. Either sugar, honey, molasses also sweeten these baked goods. Or a combination of both ingredients. Thus, speculated that an Armenian monk, Gregory of Nicopolis brought this to Europe around 992 CE. The monk stayed in Bondaroy, which is in the north-central part of France. And during his stay there, he taught French Christians on how to bake this pastry. And well, as you can see, people loved this treat, and the rest became history.
The Gingerbread Man
Nobody knows who this guy was, who first started this trend. Based on early texts and documentation, the first instance of this practice dates back during the court of Elizabeth I of England. And that during her lavish parties and meetings with her distinguished guests, she orders her servant. And to make gingerbread figures to look like her guests. Her servants would elaborately decorate these pastries to look almost exactly like them. And which her guests love.
Gingerbread Man On Christmas
Gingerbread man has been a symbol of Christmas tradition for some time now, yet we are still not sure why. Pretty much the first thing that started this Christmas trend is not the gingerbread man. But the gingerbread house. Gingerbread house for Christmas has been a long yuletide tradition back in Germany. German families back then would make their own miniature gingerbread house. And decorate them during Christmas.
Also, with the popularity of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Pretty soon this tradition became popular. Decorating these gingerbread houses and placing gingerbread men inside. Thus, become a common activity during the yuletide season.
Gingerbread men become fun and tasty activity for parents and kids to work with during Christmas. Thus, this brings in the true essence of Christmas. And that is gift giving and sharing laughs and smiles with your family. The gingerbread man has cemented itself as one of the greatest icons that Christmas had ever have.
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