Last week, February 2nd, was La Chandeleur or Candelmas day for French Catholics. It is a day to celebrate the presentation of Jesus to the temple 40 days after his birth (Christmas Day) and the purification of Virgin Mary after giving birth. This is a very popular celebration in France, Belgium, and I think, also in the surrounding French speaking regions. The tradition is to eat crêpes for dinner on that night, but only after 8 p.m. As my French teacher Kristine was saying, usually the dinner starts with ham, cheese and other finger foods. Then eventually they will have variety of savory crêpes followed by some sweet crêpes for desserts. Not to mention, in the old days the feast was celebrated with fresh home-made crêpes, but now a days people can buy different variety of ready-made crêpes from the stores. Another tradition that goes with La Chandeleur is to flip the crêpe with one hand while holding a coin in the other hand. If the cook can catch the crêpe in the pan, his/her family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.
This is very similar to the Groundhog Day in North America. La Chandeleur also predicts when the winter will be over and the spring will begin.
What better way to celebrate this day than having lots and lots of crêpes. I try not to miss having my share of crêpe when in Paris. I know I am late, but we are still in February. So, Bonne Chandeleur to everyone.
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Can’t wait for your Berlin & Prague posts, as I’ll be in both places and Vienna in May!
I will try my best to finish Vienna first since it’s in my memory clearer than the other two. Visited Berlin and Prague 4 years ago and I wasnt blogging at that time. Have to recall all the places as much as I can from my albums.