Crêpes are so good and easy to make that we eat them whenever we want in France. However, 2 official days are dedicated to them in the calendar: the Chandeleur (Candlemas) and Mardi Gras. Only a few weeks apart, MOLKOÏ explains their tradition just so you don’t confuse them and most of all so you don’t forget to stuff yourself with crêpes when the time comes.
Chandeleur means festival of lights. In order to celebrate the introduction of Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem by Marie, 40 days after his birth (following the Jewish tradition she had to wait 40 days after childbirth to be purified and allowed enter a sanctuary), this originally Christian celebration happens on February 2nd. Starting 492, the event is marks by pilgrims going to Rome to light blessed candles. Once there, they were welcomed with crêpes by Pope Gelase 1st. The tradition remained and went beyond the religious context to be observed in every households in which people shared crêpes with their neighborhood to celebrate the Chandeleur.
The second crêpes day is Mardi Gras. This Christian celebration, whose date changes according to Easter, always happen the day before Ash Wednesday, starting off Lent. As people are expected to have a lean diet for 40 days, the idea is to eat as much fat as possible getting rid of animal fat and rich food. That’s how crêpes, donuts, and deep-fried delicacies using butter, oil and egg stocks came into play.