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Do you know the history of the Gingerbread Man?

Eau Claire- gingerbread 1It is said that Queen Elizabeth I invented the gingerbread man so she could use it for small gifts to the dignitaries who visited her. According to legend, she made them into the image of her courtiers as well as in the shape of the dignitary to whom the gingerbread man was to be given.

Gingerbread tied with ribbon became popular at fairs and, when exchanged, became a token of love. The bard himself, William Shakespeare, said this in “Love’s Labor’s Lost” – And I had but one penny in the world, thou should’st have it to buy gingerbread.

Gingerbread men were brought to the American colonies by the English. There are some accounts of ginger cookies being used as a means of persuasion to voters in America – instead of passing out pins with the candidate’s name on them, the ginger cookies would be given to the people so they, in turn, would elect the desired candidates that would be serving in the House of Burgesses. Eau Claire- gingerbread 2

Many of us became familiar with gingerbread men through the brothers Grimm fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel. This story was written and published in the 19th century.

And, more recently, the Team and Residents at Azura Memory Care of Eau Claire created some beautiful Gingerbread Men.  Which one is your favorite?

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