French Lessons: la Chandeleur

Looking for an excuse to eat crêpes this weekend? You’re in luck, it’s la Chandeleur! Long before the trends of National Donut Day or Nutella Day, Chandeleur is a holiday that falls on February 2nd where people eat the thin French pancakes known as crêpes. The holiday with religious roots is also known as Candlemas and falls on the 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season, and is the last feast of the Christmas cycle. The tradition was kicked off by a pope The big, round golden pancakes are said resemble the sun, which is a reminder spring is on its way after a long, dark winter. “Chandeleur” is also a reference to a candle maker, who brings light. Unlike the MANY holidays in France, this is one where everyone works.

Looking for a recipe? Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini shares one. If you want to get really adventurous with the holiday, hold a coin in one hand while you flip the crêpe one handed in the pan. If you succeed, good things will come your way. When the crêpe flies through the air, it’s like the sun.

If you speak French, this is a cute explanation.


French lessons is a series I created to illustrate many of my favorite phrases in French. Sign up for my Navigate Paris newsletter to keep up with what’s happening each month in Paris. 

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