What Is Candlemas Day and Celebrating, Groundhog Day History

When Is Candlemas Day Quotes, Sayings, Poem


Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus, is a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season.While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians (especially Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans and Roman Catholics) also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year.

Candlemas Day
All About Candlemas Presentation of the Lord

Celebrating Candlemas

The main element of your decorating scheme for Candlemas is fairly obvious: candles. You can gather all the candles in your home in one room and light them from one central candle. Or place a candle in each window (but watch them carefully).

Candlemas is one of the traditional times for taking down Christmas decorations (Twelfth Night, on January 6th, is the other). If you are very careful (because they are tinder dry), you can burn them. Or, better yet, return them to the earth mother by using them for compost or mulch.

Certain foods are traditional for Candlemas, including crepes, pancakes and cakes, all grain-based foods. Pancakes and crepes are considered symbols of the sun because of their round shape and golden color.

If you have a fireplace, clean out your hearth and then light a new fire. Sit around the fire and reflect on your hopes for the coming year. What do you hope to accomplish? What are you passionate about? What seeds do you wish to plant? Discuss these ideas with others or write them down in a journal but make them concrete in some way so that on Lammas (August 2nd, the festival of the first harvest), you can look back to see what progress you’ve made.

Brigid is the goddess of creative inspiration as well as reproductive fertility. This is a good time for sharing creative work, or, if you don't think of yourself as especially creative, an idea that worked or a plan that materialized. Thank the Goddess for her inspiration, perhaps by dedicating a future work to her.



History of Candlemas

The Feast of the Presentation is one of the oldest feasts of the Christian church, celebrated since the 4th century AD in Jerusalem. There are sermons on the Feast by the bishops Methodius of Patara (died 312), Cyril of Jerusalem (died 360), Gregory the Theologian (died 389), Amphilochius of Iconium (died 394), Gregory of Nyssa (died 400), and John Chrysostom (died 407). It is also mentioned in the pilgrimage of Egeria (381 - 384), where she confirmed that the celebrations took place in honor of the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

[The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.] But certainly the Feast of the Purification is celebrated here with the greatest honour. On this day there is a procession to the Anastasis; all go in procession, and all things are done in order with great joy, just as at Easter. All the priests preach, and also the bishop, always treating of that passage of the Gospel106 where, on the fortieth day, Joseph and Mary brought the Lord into the Temple, and Simeon and Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Famuhel, saw Him, and of the words which they said when they saw the Lord, and of the offerings which the parents presented. And when all things have been celebrated in order as is customary, the sacrament is administered, and so the people are dismissed.

Christmas was, in the West, celebrated on December 25 from at least the year AD 354 when it was fixed by Pope Liberius. Forty days after December 25 is February 2. In the Eastern parts of the Roman Empire, Roman consul Justin established the celebration of the Hypapante on February 2, AD 521.

Pope Gelasius I (492–496) contributed to the spread of the celebration, but clearly did not invent it. Moreover, the link made by Cardinal Baronius between the presentation of Jesus and Lupercalia is probably inaccurate since Lupercalia was not celebrated in Jerusalem and it was only there that one finds some celebrations of the presentation of Jesus around this date. But it appears that it became important around the time of the Plague of Justinian in 541, before slowly spreading West.



Lupercalia

The ancient Romans celebrated the Lupercalia in mid-February, in honor of Lupercus, the god of fertility and shepherds. The celebration of Feralia occurred at the same time.

The Lupercalia have frequently been linked to the presentation of Jesus at the temple, particularly by Cardinal Cesare Baronio in the 16th century especially because of the theme of purification that the two festivals share. In fact, Pope Gelasius I had much earlier written a letter to a senator Andromachus, who wanted to reestablish the Lupercalia for the purpose of purification, and the so-called Gelasian Sacramentary mentions the celebration of the Presentation of Jesus, lending support to the conclusion that Gelasius substituted a Christian festival for a pagan one. However the Gelasian Sacramentary shows a strong Gallican influence and was actually compiled between AD 628 and AD 731, so it is possible that the addition of the celebration was not due to Pope Gelasius at all. Moreover, when Gelasius addressed Andromachus, he did not try to use his authority, but contented himself to arguing for example that the Lupercalia would no longer have the effect it once had and was incompatible with Christian ideals. This could be interpreted as evidence that he had limited influence on the Roman aristocracy.

candlemas day
Candlemass History

The bear

From antiquity to the Middle Ages, bears were an object of cult. Germans and Scandinavians and, to a lesser extent, the Celts celebrated the end of hibernation of the bears at the end of January and beginning of February. However January 24 was for most of Europe the date of the celebration. This was around the time when the bears would leave their dens and see if the weather was mild. This festival was characterized by bear costumes or disguises, and mock rapes and abductions of young girls.

For a long time, the Catholic Church sought to eradicate these pagan practices. To do this, it instituted the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple which is celebrated on February 2, which corresponds to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.

However, the celebrations of the bear and the return of light continued, with bonfires and other torchlight processions. Pope Gelasius I in the fifth century therefore instituted the feast of candles.

From the twelfth to the eighteenth century, Candlemas was called "chandelours" in many areas (including the Alps, Pyrenees, Ardennes) where the memory of the cult of the bear was still very present (ours meaning bear in French).

Christian sovereigns and churches in Europe have sought to eradicate long persistent pagan practices. For the bear origin hypothesis to be a valid explanation would require, according to some, that it be operative in Rome in the mid-fifth century, where Christmas was fixed on December 25, and in Jerusalem, where the liturgical practice of celebrating the Presentation developed. Others claim there is no need for this hypothesis – the Christian calendar was bringing about the establishment of the feast by itself. Indeed, we see that Candlemas was fixed on the 2nd of February, and the feast of Saint Brigid on February 1st (Brigid being the name of the Celtic goddess celebrated at that date). There is also the Aosta Saint-Ours, and Saint Blaise (which means "bear"). Candlemas is also the beginning of the carnival period; the bear is the carnival animal par excellence.



Persephone

In addition, the Festa candelarum in Rome commemorated the search for the Goddess of Light Persephone kidnapped by the King of the Other World Hades, by her mother the Goddess of Life Demeter. As Persephone was no longer in our world, darkness was everywhere, so her mother used a torch in her search, and in the end obtained that her daughter would be on Earth and Olympus for two thirds of the year (the light period), and in the Other World (Hades) for the other third of the time (winter season). The festival of candles symbolizes the return of the Light.

February takes its name from the Latin verb februare which means "purification". Christianity has therefore placed the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin at this time. The purification in question is the departure of the "winter darkness". The myths of Sleeping Beauty or Theseus and Ariadne (for example) relate to the release or liberation of the light (Dawn of the year) by the "solar knight"

Candlemas Day
Candlemas

Candlemas Day Weather-lore, beliefs and sayings

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright

Winter will have another fight.

If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,

Winter won't come again.


If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,

The half o the winter's to come and mair;

If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,

The half o the winter's gane at Yule.



Farmer's Proverbs

'A farmer should, on Candlemas Day,

Have half his corn and half his hay.'

'On Candlemas Day if the thorns hang adrop,

You can be sure of a good pea crop.

Candlemas Day
Prayers

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace,

your word has been fulfilled:

My own eyes have seen the salvation,

which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations

and the glory of your people Israel.


German Proverb

The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day,
and, if he finds snow, walks abroad; but if he sees the sun shining he draws back into his hole.



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