Why do we eat pancakes à la Chandeleur?

Why do we eat pancakes à la Chandeleur?

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Every year on February 2, pancakes are sautéed in many homes in France. The Candlemas, a Christian holiday that closes Christmas time, comes from the Candlelight festival, which dates back to the Romans. Back on a tradition that has crossed the centuries!

Candlemas: an ancestral celebration

If for many Candlemas is synonymous with pancakes, few people know that it is a very old party. In Roman times, February 2 was a celebration in honor of the god Pan, god of nature. All night long, believers roamed the streets of Rome, torches in their hands. With the Christianization of the Gallo-Roman people, pagan festivals such as Christmas then become Christian celebrations. It was in this context that Pope Gelasius 1 decided in 472 to Christianize the Candlelight feast which then commemorates the presentation of the baby Jesus Christ at the Temple.

And this story of pancakes?

It was during the Candlelight Festival that the first seeds of the year took place. According to the myth, if the peasants did not pop pancakes on Candlemas Day, the wheat from their fields would be bad the following year. The excess wheat flour was then used to make pancakes, which, in addition to not missing them, had to be made in a very special way: a Louis d'Or in the left hand and the pan to sauté them in the right hand.

Different recipes depending on the region

If the processions have disappeared today, the pancakes remain part of the Candlemas! The recipes made also vary according to the different regions of France. In Provence, the tradition of Candlemas is accompanied by pancakes delicately scented with orange blossom. In Corsica, wheat flour gives way to chestnut flour to make Nicci. Finally, in Marseille, we even replace pancakes with shuttles, delicious shortbread cookies in the shape of a boat.