The pretzel originated in Italy as a reward for students who learned their prayers. Around 610 A.D., a monk handed out baked pieces of leftover bread he had twisted together to resemble crossed arms, the traditional prayer pose. TheLatin word is “Pretiola” or “little rewards.” The 3 holes represent the Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today it has become a sign of fulfillment, good fortune and prosperity.

Pretzel FAQs:

  • The Baker’s Guild used the pretzel as its symbol in the late 12th century.
  • Pretzels were a part of wedding ceremonies in the 16th century. Like a wishbone, the bride and groom would make a wish, break the pretzel and eat it as a symbol of their union.
  • The first pretzel came to America on the Mayflower.
  • About $550 million worth of pretzels are sold in the US each year.
  • Pennsylvania makes 80% of the nation’s pretzels. It is also the state where most pretzels are eaten.
  • Philadelphians eat about 12 times as many pretzels as the nations average of 1 1/2 lbs. a year.
  • See how Philly Pretzel Factory makes their soft pretzels.

Today’s activity: Enjoy some pretzels or even make your own. Try this soft pretzel recipe to share and enjoy.

Tell us what you’re doing for Pretzel Day here.