Living in the SaarLorLux region means that I get introduced to many different traditions from France, Germany and Luxembourg. A lot of the traditions in Luxembourg and Germany seem to involve wine or beer and sausages. However this weekend, there is a uniquely Luxembourgish tradition that involves pretzels and not wine, beer or sausages. The 3rd Sunday of Lent is Bretzelsonndeg or Pretzel Sunday. The pretzels involved are not the small salty snack ones that North Americans are familiar with but large sweet pastries. I would not have known about this tradition except for asking one of my friends what the significance was of the stands along the roadside selling pretzels this weekend, thinking that maybe it was some rite of the first weekend of spring.
The Luxembourg tradition is that a young man gives the young lady he fancies a ‘bretzel’ on the 3rd Sunday of Lent and if she is interested she will return the favour by giving him an Easter egg on Easter Sunday. In leap years, the young women are the ones who give the bretzels.
Sadly I did not take a picture of one of the stands or the bretzels nor do I have a recipe for pretzels of any kind either but especially not one for the large sweet type that are the specialty here.