France has a very special national holiday each year on 2 February that will appeal to breakfast-lovers everywhere. It’s called “Pancake Day!” In French the day is known as Fete de la Chandeleur.
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French crepes are extraordinary. They aren’t just fluffy pancakes with some butter and syrup dripping on top, thought that would be good too. They are normally decked or stuffed with all manner of decadent fruit or other toppings. It’s understandable why this kind of culinary excellence would get its very own holiday!
There are many traditions connected with Pancake Day in France. The round shape and golden colour of the crepes is said to symbolise the sun and be a harbinger of spring. Some go to church on La Chandeleur, which means “Candlemas”. If they light a candle there and carry it home without it going out, it is thought to ensure they will live another year.
One tradition is that eating a large number of crepes on Pancake Day is supposed to guarantee farmers a bountiful harvest that year. If you can flip a crepe in the pan one-handed while holding a gold coin in the other hand, this is said to bring good luck and fortune to you and your family for the year ahead. There are many other such legends and traditions in France concerning Pancake Day, but the most important tradition is simply creating the perfect pancake and enjoying it profusely.
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