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Celebrating La Chandeleur: The French Tradition of Eating Crepes onFebruary 2nd

On February 2nd, in France, a delightful tradition takes place: La Chandeleur, or Candlelight
in English. This cherished celebration, observed 40 days after Christmas, revolves around
the consumption of delectable crepes.
Join us as we dig into the origin, customs, and significance of this uniquely French tradition

picture of crepes for la chandeleur
Crepes for la Chandeleur

Origins of the Crepes Celebration

La Chandeleur has a rich history that goes back to Roman times when it was dedicated to
the god Pan. In those ancient days, believers would traverse the streets of Rome,
brandishing torches throughout the night. In 472 AD, Pope Gelasius I transformed it into a
religious festival commemorating the presentation of Jesus in the temple.
The centrepiece of the celebration was the Candlelight procession, where each believer
received a candle from the church and carried it home, ensuring it remained lit.
A saying from the Franche-Comté region encapsulates the belief: “Whoever brings it home lit
For sure will not die in the year.”

This blessed candle was believed to possess extraordinary powers, such as enhancing egg
hatching and protecting against lightning when lit during storms.

The Connection Between Crepes and La Chandeleur

Simultaneously, another tradition emerged—the preparation and consumption of crepes.
Legend has it that if crepes weren’t made on La Chandeleur, it would bring misfortune to the
year’s wheat harvest. An old saying reflects this belief: “If you don’t want charcoal wheat, Eat
crepes on La Chandeleur day.”

Tradition and Superstition Surrounding Crepes

Creating crepes during La Chandeleur involves adhering to another custom, the use of a
gold coin. The person flipping the crepes holds the frying pan in their right hand while
clutching a gold coin in their left.
The coin is then wrapped within the pancake and paraded by the entire family to a
designated room, where it’s placed atop a wardrobe until the following year. The leftover
pancake from the previous year is used to encase the gold coin, given to the first needy
person to knock on the door.
Adhering to these rituals was believed to ensure prosperity throughout the year. Skillful
flipping without dropping or mishandling the pancake was a harbinger of happiness until the
next Candlemas.
While candlelight processions and other rites have faded into history, the tradition of making
crepes endures, and for good reason!

Conclusion

As we celebrate La Chandeleur, let us embrace the spirit of this cherished tradition. Gather
your loved ones, don your aprons, and create your own delectable crepes.
Share laughter, stories, and perhaps even a gold coin as you expertly flip them in the pan.
Let the magic of this tradition inspire you to forge your own moments of connection and
tradition. Celebrating not just a day. But the timeless essence of togetherness.
Explore our delicious crepes batter recipe and experience the joy of La Chandeleur.

Bonne Chandeleur à tous! Have a wonderful Candlelight celebration, everyone!

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