When: On 2nd February

Where: France

On 2nd February there is a Catholic Celebration called Candlemas. This celebration reminds of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, forty days after his birth, but it is also the festival of delicacies and the day of crêpes.

The name of this celebration  comes from the Latin expression “festa candelarum“, the festival of candles, and before everything designates the festival of lights.

Originally, the month of February designated the last month of the year for the Romans, “februarius“, the “month of purification” before the arrival of spring. On 2 February, the Romans celebrated Lupercalia, a celebration inspired by Lupercus, the god of fertility and shepherds. A great procession with participants waving torches led the way to it.

In the 5th century, in 472, Pope Gelasius I decided to replace the pagan festival of candles on 2 nd February with the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, but only in 1372 this festival would officially be called the Feast of the Purification of Mary. The torches were replaced in churches by candles which were consecrated and which served as a reminder that Christ is the light of the world.

This celebration is also the day of crêpes. At the beginning of February, crêpes were distributed to pilgrims arriving in Rome. It was at this time of the year that the winter sowing season began. The extra flour was used to make crêpes, a symbol of prosperity for the year to come. The French have a saying on this custom which translates: If you don’t want sooty wheat, eat crêpes on Candlemas. Another custom is: flipping the first crêpe with the right hand while holding a piece of gold in the left hand.

If you want to prepare crêpes at home, you can follow this recipe at:

Candlemas LightsCrêpe