La Chandeleur: All About Crepes & the French Tradition Around It
La Chandeleur falls on 2nd February every year. It is an official holiday in France and it is celebrated by cooking and eating crepes.
Why Specifically Crepes Are Cooked On the Occasion of La Chandeleur?
Although there is a whole history around it, however, majorly there are two reasons for it.
- The day marks the start of the harvest season and the remaining wheat from the previous harvest needed to be consumed. It sounded like a good reason to create crepes from the leftover wheat.
- Secondly, since with the harvest season, the days begin to get longer and crepes were cooked to mark the new beginnings. Also, since crepes looked more like a Sun, it made perfect sense to cook and eat them.
Although crepes originated in France, the festival is celebrated all over the world with the same fervour and bonhomie. The UK has its own following of crepe lovers. If you are looking for a crepe in London, you need to visit the Victoria Park and Primrose Hill markets to savour the authentic crepe delicacies.
Why La Chandeleur Is Celebrated On 2nd February?
Lord Jesus was presented at a temple in Jerusalem on 2nd February.
Much before it was declared as a religious holiday, La Chandeleur was celebrated all across the pagan traditions to mark the onset of fertility period and the arrival of summers.
As per records, it was during the early 5th century that Pope Gelasius I officially announced the commencing of festival des Chandelles on 2nd February. The announcement was followed by a procession which went through the streets of Rome with people carrying lit candles. Eventually, it was culminated by placing these candles on the floors of the churches, across Rome.
Pope Gelasius distributed galettes- a savoury crepe to all the pilgrims who happened to visit Rome on a pious day. This is how the crepe got linked with the festival des Chandelles.
All About the Folklore of La Chandeleur
As one of the old folklore and the French traditions goes, one is supposed to toss a crepe in the air using a pan held in the right hand while the left hand is used to flip a gold coin at the same time. if your crepe and coin happen to roll in the air at the same time, you’ll be showered with the streaks of good luck and prosperity- at-least the traditions say so!
Another tradition which is said to invite the stroke of good luck and blessings is to put a piece of crepe in a drawer or on the top shelf of your wardrobe.
Another interesting thing to quote is the French say on the weather. The traditions say that if it rains on the festival, you’ll experience another 40 days of the uninterrupted rains followed by it.
Another saying has it that a cloudy day will bring in 40 days of harsh winters and if the sun is out, it means more winter to follow along with the misfortune.
We don’t know how many of them hold true but they are part of the age-old French tradition.
Originated in France, crepes have now matured to a level of global delicacy. With light ingredients and a number of healthy filling options, sweet and savoury crepes are an absolute hit amongst the health-conscious generation of our times.
To get a crepe in London and experience mini France, you need to visit Southbank Center, Victoria Park and Primrose Hill markets. So, come and be part of the celebration; Savour the authentic French delicacy in an equally enticing French atmosphere in London.