WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Candy canes are a holiday staple during the Christmas season for so many of us.

But do you know the symbolism behind this Christmastime family peppermint favorite?

The candy cane is, of course, a yummy Christmas treat, but it is also a symbol of Christianity for two reasons.

West Virginia to have first iron-air battery manufacturing facility built to create new jobs

The candy cane has taken the shape over the years of an upside down “J” that stands for Jesus’s name.

And it has also taken the form of a shepherd’s staff to symbolize the shepherds who welcomed Christ at his birth.

The little red stripes were added to the candy design to represent the treatment of Jesus by the Roman soldiers and the larger stripe symbolizes the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

In addition to the red stripes, you may even see a small green stripe on a candy cane.

This signify that Jesus is an eternal gift from God.

The candy cane is a nice little trinket to have, if you will, that we drop in our pocket, that we suck on, and it reminds us of the fragrance of Christ, the sweetness of his body for those that adhere to the Christian faith.

Captain Mark Van Meter, Salvation Army Commanding Officer

Another fascinating fact to mention is that since 1882 candy canes have been around for everybody to enjoy at over the holidays.

They were originally made by hand, but then in 1921 machines were invented to help transform the corn syrup, sugar and peppermint extract into a candy cane.

The peppermint flavor, in case you didn’t know, tastes just like hyssop, which is also from the mint family and signifies sacrifice and purity and is actually mentioned in the Old Testament.

And one more interesting fact to share with you, National Candy Cane Day, is every December 26.