Thursday, February 2 will take place the feast of Candlemas, where the custom is that we taste pancakes.

But why in fact?

A little background to explain the origin of this tradition.

Candlemas takes its name from the candlelight festival, the “festa candelarum” in Latin.

It is a Christian holiday, which ends the cycle of the Nativity, after Christmas and the Epiphany, reports TF1 info.

The date of February 2 corresponds to the 40 days after the birth of Christ, therefore after Christmas.

It is within this period that the newborns had to be presented to the temple, in Jerusalem for Christ.

This is also the date on which the nativity scene must be removed, according to Provençal tradition.

Originally a pagan festival

But before being a Christian holiday, pagan versions have been identified.

In ancient Rome first with the Lupercalia, a celebration of purification which took place in mid-February.

Young women were whipped in the streets to make them fertile.

In Celtic mythology, the Imbolc festival took place in February to celebrate fertility and the arrival of spring.

In ancient Greece, torches were lit in February to celebrate the arrival of Ceres, the goddess of the harvest who brings light and fertility.

Distribution of pancakes during processions

It is Pope Gelasius I who would have recovered this feast to bring it into the Christian tradition.

Candlelight processions were held and candles blessed every February 2.

And pancakes in all this?

The story goes that the pope had pancakes distributed to pilgrims on this processional day, says



They are also supposed to evoke the sun by their round and golden shape.

A way to celebrate the lengthening of the days and the coming of spring, with the arrival of the first seeds.

“We shot them hoping for prosperity and abundance in the next harvest,” explains the regional daily.

In many other countries around the world, hibernating animals are honored to celebrate the arrival of spring.

In the United States or Canada, February 2 is Groundhog Day.


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