Monday, February 02, 2009

Candlemas



Candlemas is a little-known holy day with a long history dating back to pre-Christian times, though with many different names, depending on the culture. The celebration is most commonly observed on February 2, as the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox, and in Celtic culture was originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid.

After the Christianization of Europe, the day became associated with the Feasts of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, which occurs 40 days after Christmas.

In all likelihood, a combination of cultural symbolism occurred over the centuries. In Pagan times, Candlemas held a close association with the returning spring, symbolized by the flames of Brigid. In the Christian tradition, Candlemas became a feast day dedicated to the blessing of religious candles. In any case, the day serves as a reminder of light and warmth.

In celebration of Candlemas, I gave candles to my family and co-workers. In particular, my family lit a candle and spoke of our hopes for the coming spring.

For a more detailed description of Candlemas, click HERE.

2 comments:

jenx67 said...

what a neat tradition, and that picture of your daughter - so precious. Brigid was a spelling we considered for our Bridgette. We liked the story of Brigid of Kildare who was bestowed sainthood. At Bridgy's dedication Robert read the 23rd Psalm in Irish pentameter. I didn't know about the goddess Brigid!!!

Barry Moses (Sulustu) said...

Some traditions claim that Brigid was the original goddess of the celtic peoples, and slowly transformed into the Catholic saint. They are remarkably similar. In any case, I have a strong interest in the evolution of our spiritual traditions.

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