Unwrapping the Sweet Tradition: Chocolate Coins
The delightful tradition of gifting chocolate coins to children during the Christmas season has been cherished for generations. While many of us eagerly participate in this festive custom, few are aware of its origins and significance. Join us on a journey to unravel the rich history behind this timeless tradition.
The Legend of St. Nicholas
The roots of gifting chocolate coins trace back to the legend of St. Nicholas, a benevolent Bishop in Turkey or Greece during the 4th Century. Revered for his generosity, especially towards children, St. Nicholas Day on December 6 marks a celebration of modest gift-giving. In anticipation of this special day, children place their shoes or boots, hopeful to wake up to a delightful surprise from St. Nicholas, including chocolate coins, real coins, treats, and small toys.
While the celebration of St. Nicholas Day varies across cultures worldwide, the inclusion of chocolate coins and small gifts in boots remains a common thread. This charming tradition transcends borders, bringing joy to households far and wide.
Interestingly, the tradition of giving chocolate coins extends beyond Christmas into the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. Dating back to the 17th century, Hanukkah gelt, or Hanukkah money, is bestowed upon children by Jewish parents. This cherished practice involves the exchange of gelt while playing the traditional dreidel game, adding a sweet touch to the festival of lights.
The American Evolution
In the 1920s, American chocolatiers embraced the concept of Chocolate Coins and Gelt, mass-producing them for widespread distribution. These delightful treats, often seen in mesh bags, have become a global phenomenon, with both Gelt and Chocolate Coins readily available across the world.
A Sweet Tradition Continues
Whether you're enjoying a chocolate coin yourself or gifting them to your little ones, take a moment to appreciate the tradition that spans centuries. As you indulge in this sweet custom, remember that you are partaking in a practice that has brought joy to countless hearts over the years. Join us in preserving the magic of chocolate coins as we continue to pass down this heartwarming tradition to future generations.
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