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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