"If Candlemas Day is clear and bright,
winter will have another bite.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
winter is gone and will not come again."
In the US, the superstitions were liberally reinterpreted, becoming Groundhog Day. Seriously.
Lacking groundhogs of their own, the French turned to culinary ritual, as is their wont, taking the lead from Gelasius I, who was pope in the late 400s. In addition to introducing the benediction of the candles (hence Candle Mass), he fed the hungry pilgrims gathering in processions around Rome a galette, the heavier precursor of the dainty crêpe.
Thus, here in France dessert crêpes reign on the Chandeleur evening of February second. Specifically, after 8 pm. If one can flip a crêpe in the pan while holding a gold coin in the other hand, well, prosperity in the coming year is all but assured.
Whatever the true, entire story of la Chandeleur may be, it makes kids big and small happy, mine included. I made a gateau de crêpes aux pommes, using a recipe from the February edition of Cuisine et Vins. Caramelized apples, almonds and Calvados-soaked raisins were tucked between delicate layers of crêpe. We all agreed the result was delicious, and my never having found a gold coin to clutch was forgotten in the haze of post-prandial bliss.