Most Americans know this day as Ground Hog Day, but the 2nd of February is celebrated with various holidays internationally.
In France, today is La Chandeleur, also known as Crêpe Day! The name is derived from the latin term Festa candelarum, which means “candle’s party.” Traditionally on this day the French eat homemade crêpes and drink cider.
The ideas of the holiday are to welcome the sun after the rainy winter season. It is also a new year holiday.The golden, flaky crêpe symbolizing the sun (forget for a moment the Nutella that will be slathered onto it). Some folklore states that if you successfully flip a crêpe in the pan while holding a coin, it will provide prosperity for you and your family in the upcoming year.
The holiday stems from Roman, pagan and Catholic traditions. It is associated with the Catholic holiday Candlemas which is celebrated 40 days after Christmas. Despite differing religions, the traditions of celebrating purification, new beginnings, and fertility after winter are incorporated into modern festivities.
Crêpes can be sucré or salée, sugared or salted. Each menu ranges from very simple, one ingredient crêpes to fuller ones. My favorite sucré is Nutella and banane, though some just enjoy light sugar. The classic salée is the complet, with ham, cheese and egg. I also enjoy varieties with chicken, especially curry chicken. The most exotic crêpe I ate had salad, goat cheese, honey and nuts. Honestly, you can put anything in a crêpe and it would be delicious.
So celebrate La Chandeleur and stuff you face if you can get your hands on a crêpe today, even if it isn’t homemade!