Everything You Need To Know About Candlemas

Christians celebrate Candlemas Day each year, full of joy and yummy pancakes! Join Ohmymag in discovering the little known origin of this festival.

Everything You Need To Know About Candlemas
Everything You Need To Know About Candlemas

Everything You Need To Know About Candlemas

Discover our latest podcast

1. The date: Candlemas takes place every year on the 2nd of February.

2. The origin: It is celebrated 40 days after Christmas and means the "festival of candles". For Christians this means the holy meeting or in other words the presentation of Jesus at the temple.

Since the 5th century this festival was the time to bless candles. Directly linked with candles, the ritual comprised of lighting a candle at the church and getting it home without letting the flame go out. This procession was the only candle light procession to have taken place in memory of the path taken by Joseph and Mary (Jesus' parents). They traveled for 40 days to Nazareth (the old name for the town of Bethlehem) to the temple of Jerusalem, it comprised of a walk of repentance for the forgiveness of sins before being able to meet with the Lord.

But before it was introduced into the Christian faith, this festival was in fact, in honor of Mary. Like all Jewish mothers Mary had to offer a sacrifice to God 40 days after giving birth as a thank you for having saved her newborn. This meaning followed on from the 10 punishments imposed by God on the Egyptians, that freed the children of Israel.

Lastly, one origin of this festival is even older than Candlemas itself and dates back to Pagan times. At the time of the Romans, they believed in lighting a flame in honor of the God Pan, who's etymology associates his name with the countryside. Half man half goat, this divinity to nature was the moon God, who symbolised knowledge about the earth and its fertility. It was about purifying the earth before sowing the seeds of a successful harvest.

3. Candlemas traditions: During Candlemas Christians go to the candle blessing at the church. After returning back home they enjoy delicious pancakes enjoyed by the young and old alike! Rich in thousands of years of history and legends, Candlemas is a magical time for the children.

The pancake ritual comes from a distant myth according to which if you didn't eat pancakes on Candlemas your wheat would be bad. According to superstition, you had to also flip the pancake with one hand whilst holding a piece of gold in the other. Doing it successfully meant that you would bring prosperity.

Today making pancakes still continues to bring joy. This tradition is no longer filled with superstition but it's worth keeping up! So, it's a shame for those of you who are no good at making pancakes!

Everything You Need To Know About Easter Everything You Need To Know About Easter