For many, Lent is a time of waiting and reflection. It is a time to ponder the word sacrifice and what it means in your life. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs or religious background, the weeks leading up to Spring can be a wonderful time of self-reflection, practicing detachment from things and letting go of old habits and beliefs that no longer suit you. When we think of sacrificing or giving something up during this time, it is important to remember that it should be a giving-up of something that has become a negative in your life. Real sacrifice during this time should give you peace and joy in return.
The girls and I follow the age old tradition of making pretzels. The pretzel has been made for over a thousand years during this time of Lent and it is thought that the shaping of the pretzel is supposed to symbolize arms being folded in prayer.
“Pretzels had their beginning around 610 A.D. somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy. A young monk was preparing unleavened bread for Lent, the Christian period of fasting and penitence before Easter. Christians of the day prayed with their arms folded across their chests, each hand on the opposite shoulder…
It occurred to him that he could twist the leftover dough from the bread into this shape and use it as a treat for the children to recite their prayers. He named his creation ‘pretiola’, Latin for ‘little reward’.
In the centuries following, the pretzel made its way into history books and European culture. The pretzel’s form became a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity.
Historians believe, although cannot authenticate, that the pretzel came to America by way of the Mayflower in 1620. There are stories of early settlers selling the treat to Indians, who would pay any price for them.” from Snyder’s of Hanover’s website
Our little pretzels take many different shapes and symbols…
Mine was created from the old Celtic Trinity Symbol which can mean Spirit, Mind and Body or Father, Son and Holy Ghost among other things.
Maia created a Peace Sign 🙂 and Brianna created the Snail which is her special symbol in her Waldorf Kindergarten.
Here is a piece I wrote for Rhythm of the Home on this time of Lent and how you can apply aspects of it to your life regardless of your religious background.
What will you let go of during this time leading into Spring?