Candlemas Day celebrates the presentation of the baby Jesus in the temple, and is the conclusion of the festivities that begin with Christmas or the birth of Jesus Christ, and continue with the arrival of the Magi, who bring him presents (act symbolized with the children who are in the Rosca de Reyes).
In Mexico, the day of the Candelaria is celebrated every February 2; the purification of the Virgin is celebrated, and the child God is dressed and taken to the church to be blessed.
Later on, those who found the child in the Rosca de Reyes on January 6th, have to buy tamales for the rest of the family.
known as the Feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary since traditions at the time considered a woman “impure” until 40 days after childbirth. Candles, which are considered a symbol of the Virgin Mary’s purity, became a hallmark of the observance (hence the name, “Candelaria”).
The feast day is celebrated around the world, with each culture adding its own traditions. While the feast day is fully rooted in Christianity, some Candelaria traditions in Mexico date back to before the arrival of Spaniards on the continent. The importance of tamales on Candelaria along with the beverage atole—both of which are made from corn—comes from the importance of maize to Indigenous Pre-Hispanic populations. In fact, in a surprising coincidence, even the date of Feb. 2 coincided with celebrations in the Aztec calendar to ask the gods for rain and a bountiful harvest.
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