family & friends, Hospitality, Luxembourg

Mothering Sunday and Bretzelsonnden

March 15, 2012

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…

Pretzel and tea for Mothering Sunday

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.

Pretzel for Mothering Sunday

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…

Pretzel and tea for Mothering Sunday

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!

Pretzel and tea for Mothering Sunday

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  • What a fun tradition, boys bringing pretzels and girls having the time to think about it and return the favor (or vice versa).
    I think I have tried those almond – filled pretzels in the German part of Switzerland, and if they are the same they are truly delicious.
    Your pics are super good too.
    Enjoy the time with your mom 🙂

  • Jen

    Can you get almondless ones?

    • fionalynne

      Yes. We can buy some in town tomorrow when you are HERE!!!! *somewhat excited*

  • Mum

    Did I plan to come on Mothering Sunday? – no – just a happy coincidence of the only weekend we were all free. We should celebrate Jen’s birthday a few days early as well to make it a triple celebration

    PS Dad will want Almond-free pretzels as well….

  • Juliana

    What a lovely tradition and I LOVE almond pretzels. Your first picture with the mimosa flowers is lovely. It speaks of spring. Have a wonderful weekend with your mother.

    • fionalynne

      I’d never seen mimosa flowers before but I wandered home past the flower shop and they were in a bucket on the doorstep looking so intensely BRIGHT that I just had to buy them 🙂 They’re so fun looking!

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