The word Candlemas (in french Chandeleur) comes from the Latin Festa Candelarum, meaning Candlelight, a pagan festival of lighting candles at midnight to honor the dead. In the Catholic religion, the candlemas, corresponds to the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple, 40 days after his birth. But I imagine that many of you are familiar with the party that allows to make crêpes in massive quantities without feeling guilty?! Us too at Périgord Retreats and we love it!
In 2018, we celebrated this holiday on Friday, February 2nd. This holiday is celebrated today by everyone and not only by believers. The tradition of making crêpes is linked to a rite of fertility, which consists of flipping the pancakes in the right hand by holding a gold coin in the left hand, in order to be prosperous throughout the year, provided that the crepe lands correctly in the pan! It is said that the first pancake must be kept in a cupboard and that the next harvest will be abundant. This is a tradition that we did not respect to the letter within Périgord Retreats. We still hope that our trips will be enjoyed by many people this year and in future. As you probably already know, Candlemas is not the only festive occasion where we make pancakes. Indeed, Mardi Gras (celebrated 40 days before Easter) marks the beginning of the Lent of the Catholic religion. The tradition was that at the beginning of this period of deprivation, we make "fat" and so we take the opportunity to make pancakes (and other delicacies such as donuts)! In France and England, Mardi Gras is not a bank holiday, but in other countries such as Switzerland, Portugal or Brazil, people enjoy a bank holiday to make pancakes! You regret not living in one of these countries, don't you?! It is also said that the pancakes, because of their round shape and their golden color reminds us of the sun, thus informing the return of spring. Elsewhere, there are other customs related to this celebration: - In Luxembourg, children roam the streets in the afternoon or evening of February 2 to sing in each house traditional songs, carrying in hand a lantern, and hoping to have in exchange for sweets. Many similarities to our must-see Halloween, celebrated on October 31 of each year - In Mexico, a very believing and practicing country, candlemas are a very important festival. We celebrate this day around a family meal and specialties of the country. This holiday is closely related to Epiphany. Indeed, the person who finds the bean must take care of the organization of the meal. - In the United States and Canada, we celebrate groundhog day. According to tradition, it is necessary to observe the entry of the burrow of a marmot. If it comes out and does not see its shadow, because the weather is cloudy, the winter will end soon. However, if the weather is bright and clear, she will be able to see her shadow and be afraid of it. She will then return to her hole and winter will continue for another six weeks. I think we all hope that the groundhog can not see its shadow and that spring comes quickly, which will mean that the season of Périgord Retreats approach! * The abuse of pancakes is dangerous for health, consume with moderation!