There Candlemas has a beautiful meaning. It is celebrated on February 2 and indicates the transition from winter to spring. Let’s find out more about this special celebration.
From a religious point of view, Candlemas celebrates the feast of Presentation of Mary in the Temple forty days after the birth of Jesus. It is celebrated by the Catholic Church on February 2 every year.
It is celebrated on February 2, also because, according to the astronomical calendar, this is the day that ends winter and inaugurates spring. According to tradition, if there is good weather on February 2, you have to wait a few more weeks for the winter season to end and spring to begin. On the other hand, if on February 2nd the weather is bad and it rains or there is wind, it means that spring is really upon us.
Symbolically, this celebration indicates the passage from darkness and from dark to light to rebirth and, therefore, to a new season that coincides with spring.
In the Roman world, on the calends (ie at the beginning) of February, the Goddess Februa, that is Juno.
In the Celtic tradition the current Candlemas was equivalent to the feast of Imbolc, which marked the transition between the moment of maximum darkness and the return of light.
The origin biblical of the feast is as follows: according to the law of Moses, every firstborn male of the Jewish people was considered offered to the Lord and a woman was considered unclean for 40 after the birth of a male child. Hence the feast of February 2 – the day on which Joseph and Mary presented Jesus to the temple – which falls 40 days after December 25, the date on which the birth of Christ is celebrated.
The Candlemas festival is present in many cultures. There is an element common to all the traditions that celebrate Candlemas: it is the meaning, that is, the return, after winter and cold, of light and, therefore, of fertility.
In the Catholic celebration candles are blessed, which are considered a symbol of Christ. In other religious denominations it is also common for the faithful to bring their candles to the local church for blessing.
It is possible to celebrate this special holiday with the little ones by teaching them the history of this celebration or maybe sayings and proverbs on Candlemas. Otherwise we can have fun doing some together chores, perhaps with candles.
But let’s start with the proverbs. Here is a well known one.
Proverb widespread in Italy
When Candlemas comes
de the winter semo fora;
but if it rains or the wind blows
de the winter semo inside.
Jobs for Candlemas
Here are some fun jobs to do with the little ones.
- Cardboard candles. Cut out rectangles from a light blue card. Take an orange card and cut out the shape of a flame. Glue another small yellow flame inside. You will have so many candles! (Read also: Lavoretti S. Lucia)
- Candle holder. Empty jars (perhaps chocolate or legumes), once decorated, become very elegant candle holders. (Read also: Jobs with empty jars)
- Winter magic lanterns. Just get colored balloons, tissue paper to stick on … and go through the process.
- Candle holder with cinnamon. Take some cinnamon sticks and glue them together to form a box. Decorate it with pine cones and pine branches and insert a candle inside. (Read also: Winter chores for children).