Dear UK readers: please view this as your three day warning that this coming Sunday is Mothering Sunday! Arrange appropriate gift/card/flowers now. You can thank me later.
Everyone else: relax. You’ve got a few weeks longer before worrying about being disinherited for forgetting…
This Sunday is a double celebration day. Yes, for all British children, including the grown up ones, it is the day to celebrate, spoil and thank our mothers. (Mine is pretty wonderful).
But here in Luxembourg it is also Bretzelsonnden. This wonderful celebration I discovered by accident when our local supermarket sent me their monthly coupons and discounts in the post together with a flyer loudly advertising “démonstration de fabrication de bretzels & dégustation” this coming Saturday in honour of Bretzelsonnden.
Confused, I did a little internet research, and discovered that Pretzel Sunday is indeed celebrated every third Sunday in Lent in Luxembourg.
And it’s not just a commercial gimmick (at least I think not). Tradition has it that on Bretzelsonnden, the boys would come a-knocking, with freshly baked pretzels for the girl they were sweet on. The girls received the delicious pretzels and then had until Easter to decide whether their affections were returned (presumably while munching away) and if they were, the boy would receive a chocolate egg in return on Easter day.
And wonderfully, the tradition is reversed during leap years (whoop!) so us ladies get to buy (or bake) pretzels for our menfolk and hopefully they will get the hint and buy us chocolate in three weeks time…
The bakeries here are full of pretzels this week. They’re not the American bread-style pretzels you’re maybe used to. They’re more like a pastry – made of something close to puff pastry, twisted and curled into pretzel shapes, with almond paste inside and icing and sliced almonds on top. I did you all the favour of tasting one after I took the photos and you’ll be relieved to hear they’re delicious!
Coincidentally (or not – maybe she planned it this way?!) my own dear mama is going to be staying with us on Sunday and I thought it seemed the perfect way to combine traditions – tea, pretzels and some shockingly yellow flowers for the good woman who brought you up! And if you have pretty tea cups and some fancy tea, all the better!