Lava Hot Springs Idaho Events
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Gingerbread House Walk
November 26 @ 5:30 pm – December 31 @ 9:00 pm
Lava Hot Springs Annual Gingerbread House Walk!
Visit the locations marked with a blue numbered icon below.
Get into the holiday spirit in downtown Lava Hot Springs with gingerbread houses on display during the entire month of December at the local businesses.
The merchants in Lava Hot Springs are pleased to display the holiday gingerbread houses! The houses are located throughout town as shown on the downloadable Walking Tour Map.
The event will kick-off with a Holiday Lighting at 6:30 pm at the Veteran’s Park. Caroling and touring the houses to follow.
Gingerbread Houses will be on display daily from 9am to 9pm in downtown Lava Hot Springs this year with a guided walking tour brochure.
Gingerbread houses can be viewed through December 31st.
The Story of Gingerbread
What smells more like Christmas than gingerbread baking?
The origin of gingerbread dates back to ancient times when the spice, ginger, was known for its medicinal properties, often used for curing stomach aches. Small gingerbread cakes adorned with symbols of the sun were made to celebrate the Winter Solstice in pre-Christian Europe.
In the 11th century, Crusaders returning from the Middle East brought ginger with them.
Catholic monks began making gingerbread for special religious celebrations. The cakes were constructed with designs depicting saints and religious motifs. The early carvings were made with a large and elaborately carved ‘cookie board’ that impressed the pattern onto a
stir rolled dough.
As the costs of exotic ingredients and spices dropped, gingerbread slowly became more popular across Europe and Britain. The English added breadcrumbs to the recipes.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, gingerbread became lighter, with flour replacing breadcrumbs in the recipes—but the ‘gingerbread’ name stuck.
As early as 1573, treacle (molasses) was used instead of honey, and by the mid 1600s it had replaced honey altogether. Butter and eggs became popular additions to enrich the mixture.
The first gingerbread man is credited to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who impressed important visitors with charming gingerbread portraits.
The tradition of baking a gingerbread house began in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their collection of German fairy tales in the early 1800s. Among the tales was the story of Hansel and Gretel, children left to starve in the forest, who came upon a house made of bread and sugar decorations. It is possible that the Brothers Grimm were writing about something that may have already existed.
By the 19th century, early settlers from Northern Europe had brought the gingerbread tradition to the New World.