Friday, 2 February 2018

Candlemas

Today is February 2nd..... 40 days after Christmas. The ancient celebration of Candlemas.

Candlemas is a Christian holy day commemorating the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Some Christian communities bring candles to church, where the candles are blessed and then used for the rest of the year.

In France and Belgium, crepes or thin pancakes are a traditional Candlemas treat. Each family member cooks a pancake while holding a coin in the other hand, thus ensuring wealth and happiness for the next year. The pancakes are round and golden in colour, and are a symbol of the return of spring sunshine after a cold winter.

In Mexico, the presentation of Jesus in the Temple is celebrated with family meals of tamales. Whoever finds the bean in the king-cake at Christmastime is responsible for cooking the Candlemas tamales for the whole family.

There's a theory that Candlemas derives from pagan celebrations as it occurs halfway between the December solstice and the March equinox, winter's halfway point while waiting for spring.

Many people believed that Candlemas Day predicted the weather for the rest of the winter. A bright sunny Candlemas meant more winter to come, and a cloudy wet stormy Candlemas meant that the worst of the winter was over. This is the basis for the February 2nd tradition of North America.... Groundhog Day. Will the groundhog see his shadow? I wonder.......

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won't come again.

8 comments:

Lowell said...

I didn't know all this and I was, at one time, quite involved in a Christian community. I'm not sure about holding a coin while making pancakes. What if dropped the coin in the batter unknowingly. It could cause a trip to the dentist. Or maybe you could go to the church and have the priest pray the pain away? :)

Anvilcloud said...

I'd never heard of this, but I can well imagine that the church was piggybacking on a pagan day, just as they have partially done in both Christmas and Easter. Nothing wrong with that, makes sense actually.

Marie Smith said...

Interesting. Thank you for sharing. No more winter here if the lore is correct. Lol.

William Kendall said...

I'd heard of candlemas before, but not more than the word. We're getting winter through April, regardless.

bill burke said...

Interesting, I just learned something new. Thank you for sharing!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I tried to find a crepe in the city today Shammi.. no luck, thankfully our weather is pretty predictable 😋

LL Cool Joe said...

I didn't know any of this and I'm a practising Christian! My bad. Any excuse to eat a crepe though.

Pat Tillett said...

Very interesting! I had no idea.
Another reason to eat tamales! I like it...