February 02, 2017

La Chandeleur

le 2 février 2017 - la Chandeleur (033/365)
« Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte. »

One of the best things about teaching French again is the opportunity to share cultural activities with my students. In France, the month of February begins with La Chandeleur, 40 days after Christmas. This religious celebration recalls the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple (Luke 2:22-40), but its origins date back to a pagan ritual of lighting candles to purify the new year.  The Church adapted the tradition into a blessing of candles to protect and sanctify the homes of believers. Having almost made it through the winter, the tradition is to celebrate prosperity and renewal by indulging in crêpes

In keeping with tradition, my students held a gold coin in one hand, made wishes, and flipped a crêpe with the other. All were skillful enough to catch the crêpe in the pan, so their wishes are bound to come true before this year's harvest. Flipping crêpes was fun, but of course the best part was eating them! The students enjoyed their crêpes with classic toppings including berries, chocolate, Nutella, bananas, and whipped cream. As for me, I'll wait to indulge in Paris. We all agreed that this tradition is much more fun than wondering if the groundhog will see his shadow -- by the way, he did.