PAST EVENT: 2/2/2023
Young Professionals Crepe Party
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
6 PM - 8 PM
Celebrate La Chandeleur with
The FACC & the Welcoming Center!
While Americans anticipate the emergence of the groundhog from his burrow on February 2nd to predict the duration of winter weather, the French observe La Chandeleur, or Candlemas in English, by preparing and enjoying crepes.
The Catholic religious holiday is exactly 40 days after Christmas, signifying when Jesus was presented at the Temple, and French families can pack away their nativity scene or crèche, but it also has origins in an older pre-Christian holiday celebrating the harvest and marking the midway point of winter. The current Chandeleur is a mix of both of these traditions, with the round shape of the crêpe representing the sun and the circle of life, while the act of eating and sharing with others commemorates a historical tradition of popes giving food out to the poor every year on February 2.
La Chandeleur might just be the most superstitious day of the year in France. Depending on what part of the country you're in, some people put a coin on top of the crepe during the cooking process for luck, while others believe that you have to hold a coin in your dominant hand while flipping the crepe in a pan with your other hand—if you can do it without dropping the crepe, you'll be prosperous in the year to come. Some people save the first crepe and stash it in a drawer or other hiding place for good luck in the year to come.
The French believe that rain on La Chandeleur will mean 40 more days of showers while a clear and sunny day means winter is almost over.
At this time of year in German and Scandinavian areas, bear festivals were popular in the Middle Ages. When the bear came out from its cave at the end of winter, it meant that the weather would soon get warmer. This was reason to celebrate when a prosperous farming season was critical to their survival.
When the German immigrants came to Pennsylvania, they carried on the tradition substituting the bear with the more manageable groundhog to predict the end of winter. And that’s why Americans celebrate Groundhogs Day.
The Welcoming Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia that promotes inclusive economic growth through immigrant integration.
Founded in 2003, TWC works to open doors of economic opportunity for immigrants of all education and skill levels and build immigrants’ individual and collective agency to address barriers to integration and wellbeing.
TWC collaborates with its participants, a broad spectrum of organizations, and public and private sector institutions to advance learning, shape policy, and grow the economy.