Family Tradition: A Bretzel on Bretzelsonndeg

Family traditions in Luxembourg are many a times tied to the predominant religion of the country, Roman Catholicism. Food is often a part of the traditions as seen in another family tradition I wrote about: Berliner and Verwurelter.

Lent is a period of about six weeks of fasting, self-denial and prayer in preparation for the feast of Easter. It comprises forty days, not including Sundays, from Ash Wednesday to the end of Holy Saturday.

bretzel2smOn the fourth Sunday of Lent, the halfway mark, the people of Luxembourg celebrate Bretzelsonndeg or Pretzel Sunday. Men give their girlfriends a Bretzel or cake in the form of a pretzel. The size depends on how much he likes her or maybe can afford to like her. In return the young lady will give her young man a decorated egg on Easter Sunday.

bretzel1smThe tradition isn’t only for singles, married people also follow the tradition. In leap years, the tradition is reversed and the young ladies offer a Bretzel to their beloved. This morning at the bakery, it being a leap year, the women were in the majority buying  Bretzels for their chosen one.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 39 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

10 thoughts on “Family Tradition: A Bretzel on Bretzelsonndeg”

  1. This is very interesting. Do you happen to know when this tradition started? Just wondering because I have family from Luxembourg and would like to think they celebrated this. Also, do you have a recipe?

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    1. I found a site which dates it to at least the 18th century: A pretzel for your sweetheart!

      The ingredients used are included on this site but there are no directions. A strip of puff pastry is twisted and formed into a pretzel. After baking it is glazed with icing and sprinkled with almonds. Some bakers spread a almond paste (marzipan) and nuts between two layers of puff pastry before twisting it. I found a similar recipe: Sweet & Flaky Almond Pretzels

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