Día de la Candelaria, Day of the Candles or Candlemas

presentation-jesus-temple-Hans-Holbein

Presentation of Christ at the Temple
Artist: Holbein d. Ä., Hans; Date: 1500-1501; Medium: color on wood.
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/

Día de la Candelaria or Day of the Candles or Candlemas happens on February 2, and is a Mexican celebration that is fusion of the Catholic influences and native Mexican tradition. Día de la Candelaria, like many other Mexican celebrations, represents a fusion of pre-Hispanic traditions and Catholic beliefs. Celebrated on February 2nd, it falls forty days after Christmas, and is celebrated by Catholics as the “Feast of Purification” or as the “Presentation of Christ at the Temple.”  According to Jewish law it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. So Jesus would have been taken to the temple on February second.
Source: http://www.bajainsider.com/baja-life/holidays/diadelacandelariamexico.htm

Candlemas – Día de la Candelaría
Nationwide, February 2nd
It’s Groundhog Day in the United States, but in Mexico, this is Día de la Candelaría, a religious holiday that marks the end of the Christmas season in the church calendar. On this day folks dress up images of the baby Jesus and take them to the church to be blessed.
http://gomexico.about.com/od/monthlyeventslist/a/february_events.htm

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Tamales are a popular traditional food in both Native American and Latin American cultures often eaten around Christmas. They are prepared with corn meal dough filled with spicy shredded meat wrapped in corn husks and then steamed.
Photo: BigStockPhoto.com / Andrea Skjold

Candlemas in Mexico:
Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas, is celebrated throughout Mexico on February 2nd. It is mainly a religious and family celebration, but in some places, such as Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, it is a major fiesta with bullfights and parades. Throughout Mexico on this date people dress up figures of baby Jesus and take him to the church to be blessed, as well as getting together with family and friends to eat tamales.

Candlemas and Groundhog Day:
February 2nd marks the mid-way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox and has long been thought to be a marker or predictor of the weather to come, which is why it is also celebrated as Groundhog Day. In many places it is traditionally a time to prepare the earth for spring planting.

Presentation of Christ at the Temple:
February 2nd also falls forty days after Christmas, and is celebrated by Catholics as the feast of the purification of the virgin or as the presentation of the lord. According to Jewish law a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth so it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. So Jesus would have been taken to the temple on February second.

Fresco painting on the ceiling of a church showing the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.  Photo: BigStockPhoto.com / zatletic

Fresco painting on the ceiling of a church showing the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Photo:BigStockPhoto.com / zatletic

Día de la Candelaria:
In Mexico this holiday is celebrated as Día de la Candelaria, known as Candlemas in English, because candles were brought to the church to be blessed.

In Mexico Día de la Candelaria is a prelude to the festivities of Kings Day on January 6th, when children receive gifts and families and friends break bread together, specifically Rosca de Reyes, a special sweet bread with figurines hidden inside. The person (or people) who received the figurines on Kings Day are supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are the food of choice.
Source: http://gomexico.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/dia_candelaria.htm

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DMTX. Mexico celebrates Candlemas Day, which marks the end of the Christmas period and coincides with the date that Jesus was presented in the temple of God in Jewish-Christian morals. Mexico City, Me

Mexico celebrates Candlemas Day, which marks the end of the Christmas period and coincides with the date that Jesus was presented in the temple of God in Jewish-Christian morals. Mexico City, Mexico. 02/02/2010.

Despite being a Christian festival, in Mexico is the result of a syncretic process in which convergence characteristics of the prehispanic cultures, colonial period and the Christian traditions of Europe and the Middle East.

In some parts of the country, this date marks the beginning of the year and that’s why indigenous groups “bless” the seeds that will be used during harvest time. They also “bless” candles, which according to Mexican traditions can ward off evils and diseases of people.

The traditional food of this celebration are the “tamales” and the “atole”, which should be offered to the guests for those people who found a plastic effigy with the figure of baby Jesus, in the Rosca de Reyes on January 6.
Source: http://www.demotix.com/news/238696/celebration-candlemas-day-mexico#media-238556

The Fiesta de la Candelaria is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the city of Puno in Peru, held in the first fortnight of February each year. It is one of the largest festivals of culture, music and dancing in Peru. In terms of the number of events related to the cultures of the Quechua and Aymara peoples and of the mestizos of the Altiplano, and also in terms of the number of people directly and indirectly involved in its realization, it stands with the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and the Carnaval de Oruro in Bolivia as one of the three largest festivals in South America.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiesta_de_la_Candelaria