Candlemas or “candle celebration” is a renowned, religious and traditional celebration with pagan origins which is linked to light. It also corresponds to a Christian religious celebration called “The Presentation of Christ to the Temple”. It is actually celebrated on 2nd February that is 39 days after Christmas.
Originally, at Roman time, it was a celebration of the divinity Pan. All night, believers roamed the streets of Rome and agitated torches. In 472, Pope Gélase I decided to christianise this celebration which would become “The presentation of Christ to the Temple”.
Then, candle processions were organized according to a precise technique on that day and it also became known as Candlemas. Every believer must get a candle at the church and bring it home making sure to keep it alight. This blessed candle is supposed to have many powers, and it will protect people who keep it at home.
Meanwhile, another tradition appeared, that one of crepes. This tradition comes from an old myth which said that if you don’t make crepes the day of Candlemas, the wheat will be rotten all year.
Moreover, when we make crepes, we must respect a custom : indeed the farmers flip the first crepes with the right hand and with the left hand they must hold a gold coin. Then the gold coin is rolled-up in the crepe and put on the top of a wardrobe until the following year. The one who flips his crepe with skill will be blessed until the next Candlemas.
Today, candle processions and other rites don’t exist anymore but we still have the crepes tradition.
There are also other beliefs linked to the weather. In many countries, we believe that Candlemas day, a bear goes out of his den. If the temperature is mild and if he sees the sun, he quickly returns to hibernating again.
In other countries, it is the marmot which goes out. If she sees her shadow, it means that there is sun; as it scares her she quickly returns to continue to hibernate because it knows that the winter is still going to last.
For the food lovers : the crepe’s recipe.
Ingredients for four persons : – 250 g of flour, 4 eggs, 1/2 l of milk, 1 pinch of salt, 2 dessert spoons of sugar, 50 g of melted butter.
Pour the flour in a bowl; dig a hole in the middle and add the eggs. Beat well. Pour the milk little by little. Add the salt, the sugar and the melted better; mix quickly so that it doesn’t cook the eggs.
Heat up the frying pan and put a knob of butter. Put a ladle of crepe batter and put it in the frying pan. Wait for the crepe to cook on one side and flip it over. Serve it hot accompanied with sugar, jams, nutella, fruit…