A Day of Light is celebrated with the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple on Candlemas Day.
Jesus’ supporters carry candles to their churches to be blessed on Candlemas Day, February 2, to remember his presentation at the temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary. The candles represent Jesus and the day of his admission into Judaism as a result (for example, in Poland, where they are lit and placed in windows to ward off storms), and they help to explain why the holy day is called Candlemas.
CANDLEMAS DAY’S HISTORY
One of the earliest Christian holy days is the Feast of the Presentation, also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, which falls on Candlemas Day. Candlemas celebrations have been observed in Jerusalem since the fourth century A.D. Egeria, a woman from that era who is credited with writing a thorough account of a protracted visit to the Holy Land, described the festivities there as follows:
“…all is finished with great happiness, just like on Easter. The gospel narrative where Simeon and Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Famuhel, saw the Lord and the presents His parents brought on the forty-fifth day, and Joseph and Mary took Him into the Temple, is frequently cited in the sermons by all the priests and the bishop.
Emperor Justinian I commanded enormous prayer processions to be organized throughout the city during the Feast of the Presentation in order to appeal to God for deliverance from the evil of the disease in the sixth century, in 541 A.D., in response to a severe plague that had destroyed Constantinople.
The practise of reverently holding blessed candles during this time had long been practiced, and after the plague ended, the Roman Empire as a whole began to celebrate Candlemas.
Why do people celebrate Candlemas?
There are as many different Christian sects and organizations as there are additional customs and rules for commemorating Candlemas. Even important historical occurrences are periodically contested. A person of faith can start by referring to Luke 2:22–24.This passage details Mary and Jesus’ compliance with the requirements of Leviticus, which state that a boy must be circumcised on the eighth day after birth and that the mother must burn an offering at the boy’s presentation at the temple on the forty-second day in order to be deemed “clean” thirty-three days later.
Candlemas may sound outdated to some people nowadays, as if it were a reference to a scene from “Oliver Twist” or a dated black-and-white movie. Candlemas is still a time of somber devotion and endeavor to be “a light in the world” for devoted Christians.
CELEBRATING FIVE CANDLEMAS IN SIX DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
- An exclusive crepe recipe is made in honor of Candlemas Day.
- Tamales are offered on Candlemas Day.
- Candlemas Day comes to a conclusion with bonfires and chanting.
- Children sing as they dance through the streets, expecting to be rewarded with money or candy.
- The two-week long Candlemas celebration, together with Rio’s Carnival and Bolivia’s “Carnaval de Oruro,” is one of the top three festivals in South America.