Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: Ash Wednesday Pretzels: Fastenbrezel

Linked Prayers

  • None

Feasts

Seasons

  • None

In Austria, pretzels made on Ash Wednesday are called Fastenbrezel. Katherine Burton explains the religious background for the pretzel. See the recipe section for suggestions.

DIRECTIONS

Austrians make a pretzel for this day called Fastenbrezel. This is very appropriate, for the pretzel had a religious origin. In other centuries these were made in monasteries and were shaped like a ring with a cross above them. They were known by the Latin name pretiolum, which means a little prize. The monks, so the story goes, gave them as prizes to good students and sometimes to all in their schools who had been good children. From this Latin word has evolved our plebian word pretzel, and of course it is easy to see from its shape that it might well have started in life as a circle and a cross.

Activity Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20