What is the tradition of Candlemas Day?
There are so many special candle ceremonies and festivals throughout the year. The festival name Candlemas is one you may not know.
Candlemas day is a Christian festival celebrated each year. It is the 40th day of the Christmas and the end of the Christmas season.
Candlemas falls on February 2nd each year. It is not what is called a holy day of obligation, and therefore not always a Christian holiday, but it is celebrated around the world in many countries.
The tradition of Candlemas is a Roman Catholic Church celebration to commemorate the purification of Virgin Mary after the birth of Jesus. Also known as the Feast of Holy Encounter, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.
What happens on Candlemas day?
Many Christians attend mass on Candlemas and bring their candles to the church to be blessed for the coming year. Traditions vary, many attend their local church for the blessing of candles and then light the candles during the year, for example at the easter vigil, while others lght them on the day.
In parts of Europe, for example France and Belgium, the tradition is that the manger scenes set up over Christmas can not be taken down until Candlemas. This is considered the conclusion of the Christmas cycle or Christmas season. They also celebrate Candlemas as the "day of crepes". In Belgium they are especially keen on the tradition to eat crepes and light their candles throughout their homes on the day. They say that if the sky is clear on Candlemas then it will be a good year for beekeepers. We like that.
In Luxembourg, the tradition was for families to wander the streets with candle lanterns singing songs. While in Puerto Rico Candlemas is the end of the Christmas celebrations with a lighting of candles and a procession, carrying a statue of our Lady of Light or Lady of Candles, to the church for mass and then afterwards a bonfire.
There are so many festivals around the world, Candlemas is a significant day for the many attending all churches including the Greek Church and Roman Catholics.
We have another article about 5 of the best candle festivals around the world here .