Monday, February 02, 2015

La Chandeleur, Crêpe Day, In the News, and Enjoy

La Chandeleur, Crêpe Day! - Today is La Chandeleur, Crêpe Day!

Candlemas—like many celebrations around the nativity—is related to the light but also to purification, fertility, and prosperity. The word "Chandeleur" comes precisely from candelarum (candle in Latin) according to a tradition of lighting candles at midnight as a symbol of purification.

In Roman times, Candlemas was celebrated from February 2-15, to honor the god of fertility Lupercus during the Lupercalia. It was a rite of purification.

The Celts celebrated Imbolc on February 1st. This ritual honored the goddess Brigit, celebrating the purification and fertility at the end of winter. Peasants carrying torches roamed the fields and moving in procession, praying the goddess to purify the soil before sowing.

Pope Gelasius I in the 5th century replaced the old pagan rite of Lupercalia with the festival of Candlemas.

In churches, torches are replaced by blessed candles to push away evil and recalls that Christ is the light of the world. The Christians then bring the candles at home to protect their homes.

At that time of the year, when Candelmas was celebrated, winter planting was beginning. So people used the surplus of flour to make "crêpes," a symbol of prosperity for the coming year!

It is said that Pope Gelasius I, which Christianized Candlemas, comforted the pilgrims arriving in Rome with "crêpes." The shape and the color of the "crêpes" evokes the sun. Indeed "crêpes" are golden discs like the sun.

Therefore, the Chandeleur has become with the years, the day of "crêpes." It is especially loved by children. The tradition is that “the cook has to skip the crêpes with a gold coin in hand (a Louis d’Or). If he succeeds, his house will be prospering all year long.

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    Enjoy - Relax and enjoy these images and videos!