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What is Christian Holiday Candlemas?

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Candles made out of different colors.

Christians have numerous holidays that commemorate the major events of Jesus Christ.

From the birth of Jesus Christ to Him presented to the Temple, to His death and resurrection, these events are well celebrated.

Most of these holidays have a lot of meaning in Christian life.

Among the Christian religious holiday observed is Candlemas.

Candlemas is a vital Christian holiday and the last one of the Christmas holidays.

So, what is Candlemas? When is it celebrated, and does it have any significance?

What is the Christian Holiday Candlemas?

Candlemas is a Christian holiday that commemorates the presentation of Christ Jesus to the temple.

Also, the festival commemorates the ritual purification of Mary 40 days after the birth of Jesus.

According to the Jewish custom, a boy was to be presented to the temple in Jerusalem 40 days after his birth.

This was to present the child to God and be thankful for the child.

Also, based on Jewish customs, women were “unclean” after giving birth.

The unclean period for a boy lasted for 40 days and 60 days for a girl.

During this time, women could not go to the temple to worship.

After the period, a woman was to go to the temple for a purification ceremony.

Thus, after the birth of Jesus, Mary, mother of Jesus was purified on Candlemas.

Even though Mary was pure, she submitted to the law established by God.

We also know it as the Feast of Purification.

What are other names for Candlemas?

Since Candlemas commemorates the presentation of Christ Jesus to the temple and ritual purification of Mary 40 days after the birth of Jesus, it has other names.

We also know Candlemas as Presentation of Christ in the Temple or the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In some countries, they know it as the Feast of Purification.

All names are from special events in the life of Jesus Christ.

When is Candlemas Celebrated?

The Candlemas holiday is an event observed in many Christian churches.

Most Christians, such as Methodists, Anglicans, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox, celebrate Candlemas holiday.

However, it is not a public holiday like Christmas or Easter holidays.

On the modern calendar, we celebrate Candlemas on February 2nd, which is the 40th day after the birth of Jesus Christ.

However, it is observed on February 15th by Christians who follow the Julian calendar.

How is Candlemas Celebrated?

Today, most Christians consider Jesus Christ as the light of the world.

Hence, many candles are involved in this great Holiday.

According to Wikipedia, during the Candlemas holiday, Christians bring candles to their local church.

They bless candles that are used for the rest of the year in school, homes, and workplaces.

During ancient times, candles were very important because there was no electricity.

Also, Christians believe everyone was in the dark and Jesus came as the light of the world.

The Romans had a tradition of lighting candles to fright away evil spirits.

Since evil thrives in darkness, a candle would scare them away.

And children brought candles into schools to have light during the dull days.

At home, most families light candles and prepare special food.

Some prepare a crepe while holding coins to be assured of wealth and happiness until the next Candlemas event.

Why do Christians celebrate Christmas until Candlemas?

There are various reasons most Christians celebrate Christmas until Candlemas.

Some reasons include:

  • Candlemas marks the end of the Christmas season.
  • Candlemas is an important event observed on February 2, marking the end of the Christmas season.
  • Christians bring candles to their local church for blessings.
  • Since Jesus is the light of the world, Christians believe the candle will light up their lives.
  • Christians present newborns to church

Even though babies do not have to be 40 days old, most Christians present their babies to God on Candlemas.

They present babies who are born around Christmas time to the Lord on Candlemas.

This is a good habit that reminds Christians that children need to be presented to God.

Celebrating the Light of the World

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” (JOHN 8:12)

Apart from the birth of Jesus, Him being presented to Church is another significant event.

Hence, the day is very special as it shows how the world changed from being in darkness to light.

What is the History of Candlemas?

Candlemas, or the Feast of Presentation, is one of the oldest Christian feasts.

According to various sources, Candlemas has been celebrated since the 4th century AD.

However, the lighting of candles started in the 5th century.

It mainly focuses on Jesus’ early life.

According to the bible, Simeon, a Jewish man, held Jesus in his arms.

He also said Jesus would be the light of the gentiles.

A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people of Israel. (Luke 2:32)

This is the main reason we know the event as Candlemas.

We also know Candlemas as Feast of Purification or Meeting of the Lord.

In USA and Canada, we also know it as Groundhog Day.

Should Christians celebrate Candlemas?

Candlemas is an extraordinary day that Christians should observe.

It is a great day that reminds people that Jesus is the light of the world.

Before Jesus came to earth, everyone was in darkness.

He came to lighten everyone, including the gentiles.

It is also a friendly reminder that babies need to be brought to church.

Last Words

We also know Candlemas as Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, or Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of Purification, or Meeting of the Lord.

It is a special day in the Christian’s calendar. It has a lot of meaning, especially to the gentiles.

Mary was pure, but still observed the law of God. Also, it reminds Christians that the world was in darkness until the Light of the World came to earth.