La Chandeleur, Candlemas

Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry Purification of the Virgin

This day, second of February, is la Chandeleur, know in English as Candlemas, or the Purification of Mary. It celebrates the Blessed Virgin’s ritual purification, forty days after the birth of Jesus, and the redemption of the first-born according to Jewish law.

To illustrate this post, a miniature from what may be the most beautiful of all illuminated medieval manuscripts, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

La Chandeleur has always been a popular celebration in France. It is in particular the occasion to light candles and to make and enjoy crepes. Which I plan on doing on this chilly, snowy winter day.

Among the many Chandeleur proverbs, I will quote a Bordeaux saying: Si la chandelle est belle et claire, nous avons l’hiver derrière. Si
le ciel n’est ni clair ni beau, nous aurons plus de vin que d’eau.
Which means” “If the candle be fair and clear, we’ll leave winter behind. If the sky be neither clear nor fair, we”ll have more wine than water.” So be it.

And happy Chandeleur!

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12 Comments to “La Chandeleur, Candlemas”

  1. Catherine Delors says:

    Merci, Mademoiselle M! I will likewise link to you, in the new “French” section of my blogroll. 

  2. Very interesting! I had crêpes last night :)

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and have finally gotten round to adding you to my links!

    Take care,


  3. Catherine Delors says:

    Penny – I am not wishing snow on anyone, just remarking that it was there for Candlemas in Paris. My crepes were delicious, and I am delighted you enjoyed this picture. It made me think I should post more illustrations from the Tres Riches Heures. I will do so shortly.

  4. Penny Klein says:

    Happy Chandeleur! please don’t wish snow on us. NYC is on of those cities that falls apart with 1/2 an inch of snow. I am not allowed crepes. but eat one for me and when/if we are to meet, i will be have to one wtih a glass of wine. LOvely picture. and you knew you ilove colors.:-). and i wiill wish my English freind an happy candlemas as well

  5. Catherine Delors says:

    Don’t worry , Elena! I am sure my blogging software is worse than yours…

  6. It didn’t let you! I am so sorry! There must be something wrong with Blogger again……..

  7. Catherine Delors says:

    Thank you, Lucy, and happy Chandeleur to you too! We just finished eating dinner, and have crepes left over for tomorrow’s breakfast.

  8. Lucy says:

    Happy Chandeleur, Catherine. We, too had crepes, this morning, though;) Lovely post.

  9. Catherine Delors says:

    Happy anniversary, Amy! About crepes to celebrate?

  10. Picture is gorgeous! Happy Candlemas! Today is my hubby’s and I 6th year wedding anniversary – not only are we celebrating Groundhog day, but now I know about Candlemas! Thanks!

  11. Catherine Delors says:

    Happy Chandeleur, Elena! I tried to leave a message to that effect on your blog, but it wouldn’t let me.

  12. Beautiful post, very interesting! Happy Candlemas, Catherine!

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