“Walter the Baker” and the origin of the pretzel

I learned something today…something from a children’s book by Eric Carle called “Walter the Baker.” “Walter the Baker” is a fictional story about a baker who created a pretzel for a Duke and Duchess. At the end of the book, the following statement is included:

“The word pretzel comes from the Latin word bracchium, meaning “arm.” The pretzel was originally a simple bread eaten during Lent. Its shape is based on an ancient position for prayer in which the arms were folded across the chest and the hands were placed on opposite shoulders.”

So, I googled the origin of the pretzel and found the following site which also goes into the origin of the pretzel, but includes a cute “Pretzel Prayer” that can be used during the Lenten season to help teach children about the purpose of Lent as well.

Pretzels for God: Lent and the Pretzel

What a cute idea! I definitely plan on incorporating this into our devotional activities next Lenten season.


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