When you think of Christmas, you might imagine the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringing, Christmas songs, the sight of multicolored lights covering every home, and the taste of gingerbread! December 12th is National Gingerbread House Day, and you are in luck because the IMAS museum is hosting gingerbread house workshops on December 15th and the 22nd! Read more about this event by clicking here to learn how you can sign your family up!
Explorers, you should know that gingerbread has been cultivating the holidays for generations! Below are some reasons why gingerbread is considered a cultural icon!
The Great Migration of Gingerbread – 992
It’s believed that gingerbread was brought to Europe from an Armenian monk named Gregory of Nicopolis in the year 992. Gingerbread was often used in religious ceremonies because of its sturdiness and ability to be molded to look like the images of saints. This art of gingerbread baking was taught by Gregory to the French Christians.
The Brothers Grimm Gingerbread Impact – 1812
Although earlier stories included children running through the forest, the Brothers Grimm version is remembered most for the two children, Hansel and Gretel, getting lost in the forest and arriving at a gingerbread house covered in sweets. With the popularity of the story, many festivals and businesses throughout Europe joined the bandwagon to add icings and sweet treats to their gingerbread creations.
Her Royal Majesty Fosters the Gingerbread Man Culture – 16th Century
Queen Elizabeth I’s reign was known for hosting royal court in an usual grand and outstanding nature. Her royal kitchen staff included a baker who knew how to work with gingerbread. So, it’s commonly agreed that Her Majesty is associated with the popularity of gingerbread when her bakers made them to look like visiting foreign dignitaries.
Gingerbread houses are so beautiful when they are built correctly! If you want to build your own, then sign up for the IMAS Museum workshop for making gingerbread here. Happy baking, Explorers!