What is Día de la Candelaria?

By  | 
Tony Maples Photography


February 2 is known as the Feast of Candelaria celebrated among many religions and cultures. Also, it is also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Other traditional names include Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord, according to Wikipedia.

It is said that whoever received the piece of the Rosca de Los Reyes with the baby Jesus doll on Día de Los Reyes has to have a celebration on Día de la Candelaria among some cultures.



Photo: www.commons.wikimedia.org

According to the Gospel of Luke, “Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after his birth to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son,” states Wikipedia.

The presentation occurs 40 days after Christmas and in some churches symbolizes the end of the Epiphany season. “In the Catholic Church, the Presentation is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary,” Wikipedia shares.



Photo: www.pixabay.com

Various practices around the world are carried out in recognition of Candlemas. “In Western Christianity, the feast has been referred to as the Feast of Presentation of the Lord within the Roman Catholic Church,” as stated by Wikipedia. Candlemas here refers to the practice of the priest blessing candles for use throughout the year.

In Eastern Christianity, among the Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic “the holy day is celebrated with an all-night vigil on the eve of the feast, and a celebration of the Divine Liturgy the next morning, at which beeswax candles are also blessed,” states Wikipedia.



Photo: www.pixabay.com

In the Mexican culture, it is tradition to celebrate the Feast of Candelaria with the host who received the baby Jesus doll, serving tamales, and a Mexican hot chocolate called champurrado.

In France and Belgium, you can find Candlemas celebrated by eating crêpes. In the city of Puno in Peru, the Fiesta de la Candelaria is celebrated with one of the largest festivals of music, dancing, and culture in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria. “It is one of the three biggest festivals held in South America,” shared Wikipedia.

Among some cultures, it is custom to leave your Christmas decorations and tree up until Candlemas. So if you happen to know anyone with decorations still up, this might be a good reason why they haven’t quite finished celebrating the holiday season.