Ah, the gingerbread house. It’s a holiday tradition people absolutely love — whether you like baking gingerbread, decorating the house, or destroying and eating it, there’s something fun for everyone.
But how did gingerbread houses get their start? According to the Smithsonian, the tradition actually dates all the way back to the story of Hansel and Gretel! Gingerbread itself is even older than that — according to food historian Tori Avey, the first known gingerbread recipe came from ancient Greece. Later, during medieval fairs in Europe, gingerbread cookies were cut into fun shapes and decorated!
Gingerbread houses first became a Christmas tradition in 16th-century Germany.
In the 19th century, when the Brothers Grimm published their story of Hansel and Gretel, gingerbread houses grew in popularity.
Now gingerbread houses are hugely popular — there are even televised gingerbread house competitions!
December 12 is officially National Gingerbread House Day! Celebrate this fun holiday by decorating your very own gingerbread house. Here are some of the best kits you can buy!