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Happy Valentine

February is a busy time of year in France. First on the 2nd February we celebrate La Chandeleur. It is a special time in France when people make sweet pancakes. Candlemas is celebrated 40 days after Christmas. Many Christians believe that Jesus’ mother Mary presented him to God at the Temple in Jerusalem after observing the traditional 40-day period of purification (of mothers) following his birth. I am not sure many people will remember the religious background to this celebration but most French people will still make pancakes.

And then, as if we needed another excuse, we celebrate Mardi Gras and eat pancakes again!! Shrove Tuesday is celebrated 40 days before Easter and marks the day before Ash Wednesday, when Catholics may begin to abstain from eating meat, eggs and animal produce for 40 days. In France, children dress up and parade in the street. I loved it when I was little.

Finally, this weekend is Valentine day. It isn't celebrated as much across the channel, remember that French don't send as many cards as here in the UK, but because this year, we all need a little bit of love. I wish you all a happy Valentine. May your wishes come true and your love last forever.

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