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Chandeleur (Candlemas) 2016


The best crepes in paris

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Why you will love it?

You probably know who Chandler (Bing) is, but what on earth is “La Chandeleur?” Matthew Perry’s French stunt double? Another fancy French cheese? A priceless red wine maybe? Wrong! It’s a celebration, and although its closest relative would be GroundHog Day, also celebrated on February 2nd, it’s a special date when the French enjoy eating lots of crepes. Find out what the link is between the groundhog and the crepes, the traditions, the origins and the best places to enjoy eating crepes in Paris. 

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Although La Chandeleur is a Christian holiday, not many people in France associate it with religion. Instead, they associate it with something a lot sweeter: crepes! Celebrated on the 2nd of February, exactly 40 days after Christmas, it’s the time when all the crepe restaurants are assaulted by hungry people craving for the delicious thin pancakes. Traditionally though, the crepes were to be made at home and they were supposed to bring you luck for the following year… well, that is only if you could toss the crepe perfectly!

Parisianist Fun Fact: traditionally (and for the extra challenge), the toss was made with one hand while coins were held in the other hand. The first crepe was wrapped around the coins and stored. A year later, the stored coins would be given to the poor.


But why crepes during La Chandeleur, and what does a groundhog have to do with crepes? Back in the Middle Ages, a nicely tossed crepe made from old flour would insure a good harvest or in other words, good weather. After all, the crepe looks a bit like the sun, don’t you thing? This slowly replaced another tradition. In those days, the bear was considered as the king of the jungle and early February, people would examine its behavior. Waking up from hibernation, it would leave its cave and check the weather. On a beautiful day, it would go back and sleep for another month which would promise great weather afterwards (and great harvest). The bear was replaced by the groundhog centuries later in the USA, but the roots are the same…


Before Christianity, pagans would walk on the fields with torches to celebrate light, fertility and good harvest. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I combined this tradition with a religious happening, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, 40 days after his birth. Flaming torches were replaced by candles that believers would seek at the church, light up and take back home making sure the candle would still be lit. This would bring good luck and fertility and was known as the candle mass, or Candlemas. Candle… chandelier… Chandeleur… the name says it all: it was formally the celebration of candles. 

Tips & Recipes

Enough said, it’s now time to taste. For that, you have two ways. For the die-hard fans of French tradition, why not try to make some French crepes yourself during la Chandeleur. Here is an easy recipe:

Ingredients: 250g of flour, 1 table spoon of sugar, 2 tea spoons of vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt, ½ liter of milk, 3 eggs and 3 table spoons of oil.

Preparation: mix the flour with the sugar and the salt. Add half of the milk the oil and the 3 eggs and mix well. Then add the other half of the milk. You’re now ready to make the crepes!

For the lazy, the best way is to have others make the crêpes for you. Check out our Top 5 Best Crepes restaurants in Paris now

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