La Chandeleur: France's Holiday Dedicated to Crepes

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There is a Catholic holiday celebrated every year on February 2 called Candlemas. It's a feast of crepes meant to celebrate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus.

In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, and it's basically a day where the French eat a lot of crepes. This holiday takes place exactly 40 days after Christmas. The origins of la Chandeleur, according to local customs, started with some candles. They were lit at midnight as a symbol of purification. The church then adapted this tradition into the blessing of candles meant to repel evil. 

La Chandeleur was also known as a pagan celebration of the bear, welcoming warmer days as the bears came out of hibernation. 

Today, la Chandeleur is above all known as crepes day. Generations have kept the celebration alive by making these authentic French desserts. Depending on what part of France you're in, eating crepes to celebrate la Chandeleur is simply not enough. Many people put a coin on top of the crepe while they're cooking it for good luck because that's what they used to do decades ago. 

It was also believed that if you hold the coin in your right hand while flipping the crepe with your left (without dropping anything on the floor), you will have a prosperous year. 

Some also say that la Chandeleur has some tie into Groundhog Day. The French believed that rain on la Chandeleur will mean 40 more days of showers, while a clear and sunny day means that winter is almost over. 

If you can't make it to Paris this upcoming year to celebrate la Chandeleur, or to eat crepes any other time of year, that's okay! You might be one of the 84% a people who plan to have crepes on February 2, and you can get these French desserts anywhere. 

No matter what time of year it is, you can come to our Mesa ice cream parlour and enjoy some soft ice cream, French desserts, crepes, and milkshakes. We will be happy to satisfy your craving for something sweet!

Jeff Raschka