I found an interesting reference online about some Candlemas superstitions that developed over time, including a belief that if Christmas decorations are not removed by Candlemas, traces of holly, etc. Many cultures have also had weather lore that sprang up in relation to Candlemas.
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There is an old English rhyme:. If Candlemas Day be fair and bright Winter will have another fight. Naturally, one name comes to mind when we hear rhymes such as this: Punxsutawney Phil. The American development of the old custom, brought to Pennsylvania by German immigrants, lives on to this day, and the media of the United States still descend upon a town in Pennsylvania to see if the groundhog sees his shadow.
Who knew a pop culture star like Punxsutawney Phil whichever actual lucky groundhog happens to hold the title at the time owes his fame to Catholic custom?
Or that we are totally correct in keeping our decorations up until the beginning of February? We are not slackers. We are keeping the message out there. Ellyn von Huben is a native of Wisconsin, and has never lived more than five miles from the shores of…. Ellyn von Huben. John , Luke Christmas , Jesus Christ , Mary , Tradition. Word on Fire Blog. Print Back to Word on Fire Blog. Catholic Candlemas and Punxsutawney Phil.
Catholic Candlemas and Punxsutawney Phil
On the Intellectual Offensive Craig Stewart. View All. Brilliant and concise work, thank you! An important takeaway from it is that the Church is truly the font of Grace and Salvation, which leads us to God.
Candlemas, a Catholic holiday is celebrated exactly 40 days after Christmas — every 2nd of February to be precise. Originating as a Roman feast, this tradition has been observed from generation to generation and even to this day. La Chandeleur: History and Traditions. The tradition starts with lighting candles at midnight as a symbol of purification.
For the Romans, Candlemas is celebrated from February 2 to 15 as a way of honoring Lupercus, the god of fertility, during Lupercalia — a rite of purification. Imbolc is celebrated by the Celts on the first day of February. This is a celebration to honor the goddess Brigit, and to celebrate the purification and fertility at the end of winter.
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Torch-carrying peasants roved the fields and moved in procession with prayers for the goddess to purify the soil before sowing. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia — a pagan rite of light or purification, with the Candlemas festival. One part of the pagan rite which is said to have Hebrew origins was that a first born boy had to be presented to the Lord by his mother, 40 days after being born along with an offering of two doves. Torches in churches are replaced by blessed candles aimed at pushing away evil and as a symbol that Christ is the light of the world.
Imbolc / Candlemas
The blessed candles are brought home by the Christians as protection for their homes. There are many superstitions surrounding the Candlemas celebration. Some of them are:. It has become a non-religious family occasion for families, especially the young children.
At night, crepes are made and flipped. The crepe is a reminder of the sun which symbolizes the return of the spring as the days get longer in February.