About la Chandeleur
Also called Crêpe Day, la Chandeleur is a French holiday during which people traditionally eat crêpes and drink cidre (not to be confused with apple cider, this beverage is only for people over 21!).
Though la Chandeleur is often associated with the Catholic holiday of Candlemas, it actually stems from pagan traditions. While some say Chandeleur celebrates the return of sunny days (crêpes symbolize the sun), others say that making crêpes using flour left over from the harvest ensures prosperity in the coming year.
And, of course, there is the traditional coin ritual: if you can flip a crêpe while holding a coin in your other hand, you and your family will not have to worry about financial problems.
Similar to English proverbs about Groundhog Day, there are many French proverbs and sayings about la Chandeleur; here are just a few:
- À la Chandeleur, l'hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur
On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens
À la Chandeleur, le jour croît de deux heures
On Candlemas, the day grows by two hours
Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte
Candlemas covered (in snow), forty days lost
- Rosée à la Chandeleur, hiver à sa dernière heure
Dew on Candlemas, winter at its final hour
About Virginie Woo
Virginie Woo started her first cooking school in the west side of Paris. After moving to New York she founded La Cooking Class where she shares her passion of cooking. Her goal is to show how to realize the most exquisite dishes and desserts in a simple and quick way. Virginie is the culinary expert at CRISTEL for which she writes many recipes.
Above: Crêpes at the Jean Talon Market in Montréal, photographed in 2010 by snowpea&bokchoi, via Flickr.
Photos From Last Year's Celebration