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.
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.