On the occasion of Candlemas , we usually eat pancakes, but do you know exactly why ? And do you know the history and origin of this holiday ?
40 days after Christmas
February 2 is World Wetlands Day, but it is also and above all the feast of French pancakes called « crêpes », the famous Candlemas. But then, why do we eat pancakes on this day and when does this tradition go back to ? Here is the explanation : We must go back to the 5th century to better understand this tradition. At the time, the presentation of Jesus in the temple was celebrated. This Christian holiday took place exactly 40 days after Christmas, on February 2. The pope at the time, Gelasius I, then had the idea of organizing candlelight processions (hence the name « candlemas ») during this religious event. Gelasius I would also have decided to offer cakes to pilgrims in Rome. Eating pancakes on February 2 also has its origins in pagan festivals.
Referred to the fertility of the earth
At the time, Candlemas referred to the fertility of the earth. The peasants had thus taken the habit of cooking pancakes with the surplus flour of the past year. With their round shape and their golden color, pancakes symbolized light, the sun and therefore the return of sunny days. Superstitious, they had even imagined a game to bring prosperity: to blow up the first pancake with the right hand with a gold coin in the left hand.