The Tradition of Gingerbread Houses
Gingerbread can be traced back to early Egyptians and Greeks who used it for ceremonial purposes. It came to Europe in the early 11th century. The first gingerbread man was created by Queen Elizabeth I, who wowed visiting dignitaries by showing them one that looked like them. The gingerbread house became popular in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published Hansel and Gretel in the 1800's. The Germans brought this tradition to the Americas, where it has been celebrated ever since.