Gingerbread houses are a tradition enjoyed around the world. There are many different styles of gingerbread houses, from small, simple homes to famous buildings, neighborhoods, and cities.
Each year, the White House Pastry Team comes together with other members of the White House staff to work on a favorite holiday tradition: The White House Gingerbread House. This video is from December 2, 2009. (Public domain)
The first gingerbread houses were probably made in Germany in the early 1800’s, inspired by the story of Hansel and Gretel (1812) by the Brothers Grimm. This story is probably what inspired a few ambitious cooks to first construct gingerbread houses. Lost and hungry, deep in the woods, Hansel and Gretel stumble upon a life size gingerbread house. Hansel and Gretel was turned into an opera written by the German composer Engelbert Humperdinck in 1893, and was traditionally performed to mark the Christmas season.
Image: from the book Dramatic Reader For Lower Grades, by Florence Holbrook, Copyright 1911, page 118. Source: Wikimedia Commons