Today, Candlemas – or la Chandeleur – will see thousands of people across France tucking into a crêpe. Celebrated on 2 February each year, the festival heralds the arrival of spring.
The link with crêpes is that their round shape and golden colour are reminiscent of the sun.
There are a number of rituals involved with the day. One of the most popular is to toss a crêpe while holding a coin in your writing hand. If you catch the crêpe, you will enjoy wealth during the year, it is said.
You are also supposed to light candles throughout your home.
Candlemas is a Catholic festival, which explains why it is overlooked in Britain. It marks the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the baby Jesus.
As an agnostic, its religious origins are of limited interest to me. However, with Shrove Tuesday still some way off, perhaps this is a festival we Brits should consider adopting.
Especially as it is a great excuse to eat crêpes.