One of our homeschool quirks is that we like to learn about and celebrate silly or obscure holidays. For February 2, we had several options. Groundhog Day, Crêpe Day, Dogsled Day, and Play Your Ukelele Day are just some that I can recall from the list I consulted.
Groundhog Day and Dogsled Day weren’t very relevant to us since we live in the tropics (although we still discussed Groundhog Day to satisfy the kids’ curiosity). We don’t have a ukulele for the moment so we couldn’t play one even if it was just the kind of holiday we’d have liked to observe. Crêpes, on the other hand, are something we enjoy eating, and I had several ideas for expanding on this occasion.
Crêpe Day, as you can probably guess, originates from France, a part of the La Fête de la Chandeleur or Candlemas. Now, I’m not Catholic, so I’m not the person to ask if it’s also celebrated here or elsewhere. Supposedly, however, it commemorates the day when Jesus was presented at the temple in Jerusalem.
There must have been some sort of Christian-pagan fusion in the celebration since the crêpes were mainly associated with the time of the year. They were made to use up the extra wheat before the next harvest. They also were supposed to look like the sun, so making them was a kind of salute to the coming warmer season.
At any rate, you gotta eat crêpes on Crêpe Day. That’s the part of the celebration we were all looking forward to, but we could definitely make other parts of the celebration fun and engaging too. Here are some of the activities we had on Crêpe Day that made it even more fascinating for us.
1. Learning French Chandeleur proverbs – I’m a confessed Francophile, so I love any old excuse to spout off French sayings. My eldest who’s 10 can already appreciate the beauty of the language, and while we’re officially studying Spanish and not French, it’s still fun to expose her to the latter. Here are two of the easier ones to remember:
À la Chandeleur, l’hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur.
On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens.
Chandeleur couverte, quarante jours de perte.
Candlemas covered (in snow), forty days lost.
2. Flipping crêpes – There’s a French crêpe-throwing game that sounded fun, but it also sounded like a potential waste of good food, and since we avoid doing that as much as we can, I decided to come up with an alternative. Flipping crêpes is even more fun than flipping pancakes since they’re thinner and lighter, yet wider. The kids basically had a go at just one crêpe, holding the spatula over the table, so even if they missed (and they did several times), it still wouldn’t get dirty.
3. Coming up with a signature crêpe – We concocted our own crêpe filling. We didn’t have a lot of time by the time we got around to this. We also didn’t have much in the way of ingredients, so we stuck to the common options. Next time, I’ll prepare better and supply them with a variety of food items. These are what we came up with.
Banana with Nutella
Ham and Cheddar Cheese
This is the recipe I followed for making the crêpes themselves.
• 1 C all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs
• ½ C milk
• ½ C water
• Pinch of salt
• 2 T melted butter
• Whisk flour and eggs together in a large mixing bowl. Add in milk and water gradually, stirring until well-combined. Beat in salt and butter until smooth.
• Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour about a fourth or a fifth of the batter on the pan, depending on how big your pan is. Tilt the pan in a circular motion, taking care to evenly coat the pan’s surface.
• Let the crêpe cook for one to two minutes until you can easily loosen it from the pan. Turn it over and cook until the bottom side is light brown.
If you’re interested in learning about fun holidays and observances, try checking out Brownielocks.com. Here’s the list for the month of February.
Do you like crêpes at all? Which kind is your favorite? Would you consider observing Crêpe Day next year? The above suggestions will hopefully give you a good idea of where to start. What other ideas would you recommend to observe this holiday? Would your rather celebrate Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday, which falls on February 28 this year) instead of Crêpe Day? Let me know.
And remember that it doesn’t have to be Crêpe Day for you to get your crêpe on. You can have fun with crêpes anytime you want to.