National Pretzel Pretzel Day

Happy person holding a pretzel, wearing comfortable clothes, enjoying a sunny park picnic..
National pretzel pretzel day illustration

Attention all pretzel lovers! Get ready to celebrate National Pretzel Day in all its doughy, salty, twisty glory. This delightful day pays tribute to one of the most iconic snacks in the world - the pretzel. So grab a bag of pretzels, put on your stretchy pants, and join us as we dive into the twisted history of National Pretzel Day!

When is Pretzel Pretzel Day?

It's national pretzel pretzel day on the 26th April.

The Origin Story of National Pretzel Day

Believe it or not, National Pretzel Day has its roots in the humble state of Pennsylvania. It all started back in 1983 when then-Representative Robert S. Walker declared April 26th as National Pretzel Day. But why April 26th? Well, it was chosen to honor the importance of pretzels in the state's history and economy.

Pennsylvania is home to countless pretzel bakeries and has a rich pretzel-making tradition that can be traced back to the 1800s. The unique crunchy-yet-chewy texture of pretzels has captivated the hearts and taste buds of people around the world, making them an essential part of snacking culture.

History behind the term 'Pretzel Pretzel'

610 AD

A Humble Beginning

The history of the term 'pretzel pretzel' can be traced back to 610 AD in Italy. During this time, Catholic monks prepared a special kind of baked bread as a reward to children who recited prayers. These doughy treats took the shape of folded arms, resembling the prayer posture. Initially known as 'pretiola,' meaning little reward in Latin, this was the humble beginning of the precursor to the modern pretzel pretzel.

610 AD

The Monk's Creation

Legend has it that in the year 610 AD, an Italian monk created the first pretzel. According to the story, the monk made the twisted knot-shaped bread to resemble children's arms crossed in prayer. The pretzel quickly became associated with Easter, as the shape was also thought to represent the Holy Trinity.

12th Century

Embracing the Knot

By the 12th century, the pretiola had reached Germany, where it underwent a significant transformation. Germans embraced the shape of a knot, making it easier to hold and consume. This shift led to the term 'pretzel' being used to describe this distinctive knot-shaped treat. The pretzel pretzel was becoming more recognizable and gaining popularity across Europe.

16th Century

The Pretiola's Arrival

During the 16th century, pretzels known as 'pretiola' made their way to Germany, where they gained immense popularity. These pretiola were smaller and softer compared to the pretzels we know today. They were typically given to children as rewards for learning their prayers. The German word 'brezel' started to be used to describe these delectable twisted treats.


A Pretzel Puzzle

In 1510, an image of a child twisting a pretzel into a knot appeared in a manuscript owned by George III, Duke of Bavaria. This depiction hinted at the playful nature of pretzels and their significance in popular culture. The term 'pretzel pretzel' started to emerge as a way to describe the distinctive shape of the pretzels and differentiate them from other baked goods.


The Pretzel Guild

In the year 1510, bakers in Germany established a pretzel guild. This guild was responsible for maintaining the quality and standards of pretzels produced in German bakeries. They also ensured that only guild members could bake pretzels, thus protecting the integrity of this delightful snack.

17th Century

The Pretzel in America

In the 17th century, German immigrants brought the pretzel pretzel to America in their quest for new opportunities. The term 'pretzel pretzel' began to establish itself in the American lexicon, referring specifically to the knot-shaped pretzels. Pretzels quickly gained popularity, becoming a staple snack enjoyed by people of all backgrounds in America.

17th Century

The Pretzel's Connection to Weddings

Pretzels started to become a symbol of love and union during the 17th century. In southern Germany, it became a tradition for a groom to give his bride a pretzel as a gesture of good luck, prosperity, and an everlasting bond. This tradition persists in some regions of Germany and has even spread to other parts of the world.


Twisting into Pop Culture

The term 'pretzel pretzel' gained further recognition in 1935 when the first pretzel-shaped erasers were introduced in the United States. These erasers had a distinct twisted shape, making them resemble miniature pretzels. This playful twist on the classic pencil accessory solidified the association between the term 'pretzel pretzel' and the iconic knot-shaped snack in popular culture.

Philadelphia, 19th Century

The American Pretzel Evolution

In the 19th century, German immigrants brought the pretzel tradition to America, specifically Philadelphia. The city quickly adopted the pretzel as its own, and it became a staple snack. The first commercial pretzel bakery in the United States was established in 1861 in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Today, Philadelphia is referred to as the 'Pretzel Capital of the World' due to its rich pretzel-making history.

Present Day

A Delicious Symbol

Today, the term 'pretzel pretzel' continues to be used to describe the quintessential knot-shaped pretzels we all know and love. These salty treats have become cultural symbols, representing snack time, Oktoberfest, and a wide array of culinary delights. The fascinating journey of the term 'pretzel pretzel' has transformed it from a humble reward to a beloved snack enjoyed by millions around the globe.

Modern Times

The Pretzel Craze

In the modern era, pretzels have evolved beyond their traditional shape and flavor. From soft pretzels sprinkled with coarse salt to pretzel sticks, pretzel buns, and even pretzel ice cream cones, this beloved snack continues to captivate taste buds worldwide. The popularity of pretzels extends to various cultural contexts, making it a versatile culinary delight.

Did you know?

Did you know that pretzels were originally associated with religion? In the 7th century, Christian monks used to make pretzels as a reward for children who recited their prayers correctly. These twisted treats were shaped to resemble arms crossed over the chest in prayer.


food fun

First identified

24th April 2015

Most mentioned on

26th April 2016

Total mentions


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