On 2nd February each year, French people celebrate La Chandeleur. In English this is known as Candlemass.
This falls 40 days after Christmas and signifies the day that Jesus was presented at the temple. The festival was created in 472 by the Pope The name ‘Chandeleur’ comes from the candles that were traditionally used on this occasion. In churches, they are blessed and replace torches and are left alight to signify light, purity and to keep harm away. Religious people often bring a blessed candle home and display it in their window on 2nd February. It is also religious tradition that the nativity scene that is displayed in many houses at Christmas should remain on display until 2nd February.
So why do French people eat crêpes on La Chandeleur?
The round shape and golden colour of crêpes represent the sun and the return to the light. From February, days also start to get longer and eating of crêpes also refers to the cycle of the seasons and the arrival of spring and brighter days.
This festival is also accompanied by superstitions. If peasants didn’t make crêpes on this day, they believed that their crops would be bad the following year. To ensure that the harvest was good and that the year would be financially prosperous, they believed that they had to flip the first crêpe in the air with their right hand while holding a coin (Louis d’Or) in their left hand and also ensuring that the flipped crêpe landed perfectly back into the pan! The crêpe was then conserved on top of a wardrobe or cupboard and supposedly shouldn’t go moldy and should keep misery and deprivation far away.
Many other countries also celebrate this religious feast, each with their own variation of the French tradition. Most other traditions around La Chandeleur which have existed over time such as processions no longer take place. However the tradition of crêpes remains and why not? Crêpes are delicious!
- June 23rd, 2021
New from December 2021, Alpine French School is offering a little extra to help students. Meditation is renowned nowadays for many things: Reducing stress Increasing focus and concentration Increasing creativity Helping to balance emotions Reducing pain or perception of pain Reducing anxiety and improving self-esteem Reducing depression Increasing memory Some…Continue Reading
- June 22nd, 2021
If you are taking lessons with us and using government funding to finance your lessons, we wanted to warn you of a serious scam taking place at the moment and give you advice on what to do. The scam targets the CPF which is a fund that can be used by employed and self-employed people…Continue Reading
- June 10th, 2021
If you want to travel to France from the UK this summer, read on to find all of the necessary information to make your trip as smooth as possible. Current quarantine rules From 9th June, fully vaccinated Brits can holiday in France this summer with no need to quarantine upon…Continue Reading
- June 6th, 2021
We are so pleased to finally be able to welcome you back to our language school as of June. If you’re keen to work on your French in a group environment, here are the details of our upcoming group courses over the next 10 weeks. JUNE INTENSIVE COURSES (15 hours…Continue Reading