Symbol of warmth, fertility, health.
It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that ginger became widely available. It became a Yule custom as soon as it became accessible. Gingerbread was regarded as a specialty bread that could only be cooked at Yule. Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, the spices used in gingerbread, were thought to be warming and nourishing. Gingerbread later evolved into the gingerbread cookie, which Queen Victoria popularized and gave as gifts. It was thought that if a man ate a woman’s gingerbread, they would marry and have children within a year. Fairy tales helped to popularize gingerbread.
During the holiday season, individuals still make gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies.