Crêpes and Candlemas in France

In France, Candlemas is called the Fête de la Chandeleur or Feast of Candlemas.

Pancakes and crêpes are an important aspect of Candlemas. First, both resemble the sun, which everyone is sorely missing at this exact halfway point of winter. Also, it is said that Pope Gelasius I, who introduced Candlemas into the Catholic Church, often gave crêpes to people who made the pilgrimage to Rome.

The French have many proverbs about eating crêpes on Candlemas. Here are some of them…

(I’m using crêpes and pancakes interchangeably)

Manger des crêpes à la chandeleur
Apporte un an de bonheur.

Eat crêpes on Candlemas
And have a year of happiness.


Il faut faire sauter les crêpes avec une pièce dans la main
Afin de s’assurer prospérité toute l’année.

You must flip the crêpes with a coin in your hand
In order to ensure prosperity all year long.


Celui qui retourne sa crêpe avec adresse,
Qui ne laisse pas tomber à terre,
Celui-là aura du bonheur
Jusqu’à la Chandeleur prochaine.

Whoever turns over his pancake with skill,
Who doesn’t let it fall to the floor,
That one will have happiness
Until the next Candlemas.


Here’s a French song for Candlemas, in French and with an English translation…

In French…

La veille de la Chandeleur

La veille de la Chandeleur
L’hiver se passe ou prend rigueur
Si tu sais bien tenir la poêle
A toi l’argent en quantité
Mais gare à la mauvaise étoile
Si tu mets la crêpe à côté.

In English…

The day before Candlemas

The day before Candlemas
Winter passes, or gets stronger.
If you know how to hold the frying pan,
To you, lots of money.
But you’ll be under an unlucky star
If the pancake misses the mark.

Enjoy your pancakes!


Many thanks to Monique of Mama Lisa’s World en français for pointing out the tradition of eating pancakes in France on Candlemas.

Come visit the Mama Lisa’s World France page for more French children’s songs with their English translations and…

Mama Lisa’s World en français for children’s songs around the world with their French translations.

This article was posted on Monday, January 30th, 2006 at 11:58 pm and is filed under Candlemas, Candlemas Songs, Countries & Cultures, Folk Songs, France, French, French Folk Songs, French Proverbs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Midis, Proverbs, Recordings of Songs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “Crêpes and Candlemas in France”

  1. Candlemas and Crêpes… a Recipe and a Song | Mama Lisa's World Blog Says:

    […] yesterday’s blog entry, I talked about the importance of crêpes for Candlemas (Groundhog Day in the U.S.) I also gave the […]

  2. A French Wedding Custom that’s a Game to Play at the Reception | Mama Lisa's World Blog Says:

    […] was sentenced with the February penalty which was inviting them for a crêpes dinner. It’s traditional to eat crêpes in France in February. The one for January got “buying a galette and sharing it with them”. July’s […]

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