Candlemas Day 2024: Jesus’ followers commemorate his presentation at the Temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary on Candlemas Day, February 2, when many bring blessed candles to their churches. After that, the candles symbolize Jesus and the day of his initiation into Judaism (in Poland, for instance, where they are lit and placed in windows to ward off storms) and also help to explain the name of this holy day
Candlemas Day History
It is among the oldest holy feasts in the Christian calendar and is celebrated on Candlemas Day. Jerusalem has observed Candlemas since the fourth century. Egeria, a woman of the era who wrote a detailed account of a long visit there, recorded the Candlemas celebrations:
Everything is done in order and with joy at Easter. In the gospel, every priest and bishop preaches the same passage about how Simeon and Anna, Famuhel’s daughter, saw the Lord and spoke to Him on the forty-first day.
In 541 A.D., Emperor Justinian I ordered massive prayer processions across Constantinople after a terrible plague ravaged the city.
As there are numerous Christian sects and denominations, there are as many additional customs and requirements for Candlemas celebration. Even significant historical events are occasionally disputed and debated. A person of faith can, at its core, refer to Luke 2:22–24 in the Bible. In that passage, it is explained how Mary and Jesus observe the law found in Leviticus, which states that a baby boy must be circumcised on the eighth day after birth and that the mother must present the boy at the temple on the forty-first day, thirty-three days later, having burned an offering.
The term “Candlemas” may seem archaic to you now, like a scene from an old black-and-white film or an episode of “Oliver Twist.” Candlemas, however, remains a somber and holy occasion for devout Christians to strive to be “a light in the world” even today.
Celebration Of Candlemas Day
Jesus set an example for everyone
It is an example, religious or not, of how to be a “light in the world.” For Candlemas and beyond, you can light a candle in the name of kindness, altruism, or selflessness and contribute to the solution.
If you go to a liturgy commemorating the Feast of the Presentation, you might learn something new even if you’re not religious. Knowing more about each other’s interests, including our different religions, can benefit us all.
Discover the day’s history.
Around the world, Candlemas Day has a complex and varied history. Find out why the Church considers this day to be so significant and why it is still observed.
Candlemas Day Celebrations Around the World
- In France and Belgium, a particular crepe recipe is used to mark Candlemas Day.
- Tamales are served on Mexico’s Candlemas Day celebration.
- Candlemas Day concludes with singing and bonfires in Puerto Rico.
- Singing down the streets, kids cross their fingers for candy or change.
- With Rio’s “Carnival” and Bolivia’s “Carnaval de Oruro,” the two weeks of Candlemas singing, dancing, and eating makes up one of South America’s top three festivals.
Candlemas Day: An Important Day
It’s among the oldest ancient Christian holidays.
When the first sermons on the feast were delivered in Jerusalem in the fourth century A.D., it was first observed. It has been a long-standing custom!
The “miracle of the virgin birth” is celebrated.
One of the main tenets of Christianity is the virgin birth miracle, which is confirmed by the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. It serves as the catalyst for Mary’s elevation to prominence in the Catholic Church and honors chastity.
Celebrations highlight regional cuisine and customs.
All around the world, people commemorate the Feast of the Presentation. For example, the festival in Puno, Peru, features a “costume dance” with 20,000 dancers and 5,000 musicians.
CANDLEMAS DAY DATES