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Chandeleur – Fête de la Lumière

CrepesToday, the 2 February, is a special day in France and is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or jour des crêpes.  It is the Catholic holiday of Candlemas, held 40 days after Christmas day and is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus at the temple.

Throughout the churches, they will light candles that have been blessed, whose light represents that Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and whose light will ward off evil.  Christians then take their candles home to protect their homes.

Crêpes with their round shape and golden color remind are meant to remind us of the sun and that the days are now growing longer as we start to approach Spring.  It is also at this time of year, that the winter sowing season begins and traditionally the excess flour would have been used to make these pancakes which are a symbol of prosperity for the coming year.

The French eat a lot of crêpes on Chandeleur and they also try their hand at a bit of fortune telling whilst they are making them. It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.

Hope you enjoy your Crêpes today, I know that my family and I certainly will, the difficulty being to decide which toppings to put on them.

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