February 2: Groundhog Day and La Chandeleur

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is an annual tradition observed in the United States and Canada.

In the U.S., members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club gather on February 2 around a burrow in the town of Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania and wait for the groundhog to emerge. It is believed that the groundhog can predict the arrival of spring!

In the 1993 American fantasy-comedy film, “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray plays a meteorologist who is sent to report on the event. He experiences déjà-vu when he wakes up each day and February 2 repeats again and again.

This year’s prediction, however, was not a repeat of last year’s. It appears that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow! According to legend, this means that there will be six more weeks of winter. (If he had not seen his shadow, then there would be an early spring.)

Groundhog Day is believed to have been adapted from a German custom of having a badger predict the weather, which itself is believed to have been an adaptation of a religious tradition involving candles.

La Chandeleur

The French also celebrate the religious tradition on February 2. They call it La Chandeleur, which comes from chandelle, the French word for candles. Similar to Groundhog Day, there are weather-related sayings or superstitions about this day:

« Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte » (If it’s covered in snow, 40 more days will be lost winter)

« Soleil de la Chandeleur, annonce hiver et malheur » (If the sun is out, it indicates winter and misfortune)

« Quand la Chandeleur est claire, l’hiver est par derriere » (If it’s clear, then winter is behind us)

« Quand il pleut pour la Chandeleur, il pleut pendant quarante jours » (If it’s raining, it will rain for 40 days)

Crêpe Day

I like butter and brown sugar on my crêpes (Feb. 2, 2021)

One way to celebrate La Chandeleur is by eating crêpes!

“San Francisco” crêpe from Crepevine has smoked salmon, capers, spinach, and dill havarti (2018)

In California, the regional stay home orders have been lifted. Some restaurants are offering indoor dining again. I can’t wait to go back to Crepevine, one of my favorite restaurants.

But until then, I’ll make crêpes at home. I’m glad they’re so easy to make and require just six ingredients and a pan!

Recipe:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • butter (for the frying pan)

Mix all ingredients together. Unlike pancake batter, the mixture will be thin. Pour 1/3 cup of the mixture onto the lightly buttered pan that’s over low heat. Swirl the pan until the batter coats the bottom of the pan. Flip the crêpe when the sides are lightly brown. Enjoy it warm with jam, Nutella, lemon juice, or powdered sugar.

Paris Las Vegas (2016)

Do you like crêpes? What do you like to put in them?

7 Comments

  1. I’m more of a galette person, but my ideal sweet crêpe would be either Nutella and bananas, or chestnut purée with strawberries. I’ve made crêpes before, but I never could get them thin enough. One day, I’ll have to try making them again…until then, bonne dégustation!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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