Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Flip! It's Fête des Chandelles...

Nah, let's not talk about croissants...let's talk about pancakes!

Here in France the 2nd of February is Fete des Chandelles, (candles).  It's Pancake Day, but not quite as we know it.  As is often the case, it's a religous festival with its roots buried deep in a pagan one. For pagans it was all about coming out of hibernation, the days getting longer, offering up goods to gods in the hope of a fine Spring and a good harvest.  The Church kinda hijacked it and mashed it up with some other festivals into some sort of purification ceremony, involving the lighting of candles and, more importantly, eating pancakes.  It's thought that this part of the tradition stems from a Pope who ordered pancakes to be cooked up for some visiting pilgrims in a time of hardship.  Lots of folklore surrounds the tradition.  I've read that if you hold a gold coin in your left hand and flip the pancake with your right hand you'll have good luck for a year (and a hell of a messy hob, probably).  And that you should keep the first pancake out of the pan in your cupboard to bring good luck for the year to come (and a rodent infestation, probably).

Whatever, I don't need much of an excuse to light some candles and drag out the pan and get flipping.  I like mine as nature intended with sugar and lemon, and none of that new-fangled Nutella stuff.  How do you like yours?

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