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.