By | 18 Mar 2023 at 4:54 PM
Pretzel Sunday 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

In Luxembourg, Bretzel Sunday (Bretzelsonndeg) is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent. The precise date varies annually due to the observance of Lent. Pretzel Sunday is the midpoint of Lent and can occur on any date between 1 March and 4 April. Did you know? Some believe the pretzel’s twist represents two lovers arm-in-arm, while others believe it represents praying hands, and still others believe the three holes represent the three deities of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The background of Pretzel Sunday

The fourth Sunday of Lent is traditionally known as Laetare Sunday, after the first word of the day’s traditional mass introit. Mothering Sunday is also known as Mid-Lent Sunday, Rose Sunday, and Refreshment Sunday. Due to a traditional custom in Luxembourg, the day also has a unique name: “Bretzelsonndeg,” or “Pretzel Sunday” in English.

A pretzel is a form of baked product composed of water, flour, and salt that is typically shaped as a knot. Almonds, pecans, or chocolate may also be added as garnish. This pastry is renowned in Austria, Germany, Alsace, German-speaking Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

According to some sources, the term derives from the Latin word brachium, meaning ‘arm,’ which then evolved into the German word bretzel or brezel and then into the English word pretzel. Some claim that they were originally referred to as ‘bracellae,’ a Latin term meaning ‘little arms’ from which the German word ‘bretzel’ was derived. Despite the fact that there are numerous unreliable accounts of the origin of the pretzel and its name, many believe that this unique baked food has Christian roots and was devised by European monks.

On Pretzel Sunday, young men express their devotion for their significant others by presenting them with pretzels or pretzel-shaped cakes. On Easter Sunday, if the young lady wishes to reciprocate the man’s emotions, she gives him a decorated chocolate egg. Otherwise, the girl rejects the pretzel giver by returning the tray. This explains the origin of the Luxembourgish expression “to be given the basket” (de Kuerf kréien), which means to be rejected. In leap years, the tradition is reversed: on Pretzel Sunday, women give men pretzels or pastries, and on Easter Sunday, men give women eggs.

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Bake homemade croutons

This Sunday, you can make your own pretzels at home. You can discover several recipes online for their preparation, which is quite simple. You can prepare the dough the day before and refrigerate it overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator at least one hour prior to winding for optimal results.

Share via social networks

If you’ve made pretzels at home, share pictures of them on social media using the #pretzelsunday hashtag. You can also purchase pretzels at any local grocery store, patisserie, or supermarket. Take a picture of your reward and post it on social media to show your support for the day.

Send some to your sweetheart

Have hidden sentiments for someone but don’t know how to express them? Well, Pretzel Sunday is the ideal time to tell your admirer about you. Visit a nearby bakery to purchase some fresh pretzels, wrap them up, and send them along with a sweet note to your admirer. They would absolutely enjoy it!


Each year, more than $550 million worth of pretzels are sold in the United States, with approximately 80% of the nation’s pretzel production occurring in Pennsylvania, home to approximately 45 pretzel companies.

In October 2015, Pilsner of El Salvador claimed the Guinness World Record for baking the largest pretzel with a gigantic pretzel weighing 1,728 pounds and measuring 29 feet 3 inches long by 13 feet 3 inches wide.

Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut won the 2007 World Pretzel Eating Championship by consuming 21 soft pretzels in ten minutes.

The average American consumes up to two pounds of pretzels per year, whereas Philadelphians consume approximately 12 pounds per person annually!

An old German custom encourages children to wear pretzels on a string around their necks at the start of the new year to ensure prosperity, good health, and happiness.


Year Date Day
2022 March 27 Sunday
2023 March 19 Sunday
2024 March 10 Sunday
2025 March 30 Sunday
2026 April 12 Sunday