The Quiet Beauty of Candlemas

Every year I am growing to like Candlemas as a holiday more and more.  Our preparations begin the night before Candlemas with prayers celebrating the arrival of Candlemas, that meeting of the New and the Old.

I love what “All Year Round” says in regards to Candlemas (and I know I quote this annually for those of you who have been reading this blog for some years, but I love this quote!).  Authors Ann Druitt, Christine Fynes-Clinton and Marije Rowling write:  “At the beginning of February, when the infant light of spring is greeted thankfully by the hoary winter earth, it seems fitting that we should celebrate a candle Festival to remember that moment when the Light of the World was received into the Temple, when the old yielded to the new.”

 

The above picture is the Presentation of Jesus, the new light of the world, to the old world gone before Him.  I believe Eastern churches sometimes call this day “The Meeting”.  Is that correct, my Orthodox friends?  How lovely.

One way we are celebrating in our home today is with traditional foods.    In the morning, I made apple crepes and for dinner we will have a sunny lentil soup with  tumeric- colored rolls.  We will dip candles this afternoon.  If candle-dipping is new to you, there are instructions in “All Year Round” and my friend Lisa has instructions with pictures on her blog for the preparation.  You can see here:   http://celebratetherhythmoflife.blogspot.com/2011/01/beeswax-candle-dipping-preparation.html

We set up the melted wax at one end of a table and a tall container of cool water at the other.  Once the child dips their wick  in the wax and walks around the table to dip the candle in the cool water, then it is time to dip again.  Over a period  a beautiful candle is born!  We work to keep the candle straight as we go and also to make the base bigger than the top so they can stand freely without falling over.

Here are some back posts I have written about Candlemas with many more ideas:

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/01/29/the-magic-of-candlemas/  and here:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/01/10/candlemas-is-coming/

Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating in your home and with your family.

Many blessings,

Carrie

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11 thoughts on “The Quiet Beauty of Candlemas

  1. Hi Carrie,

    I love your title, “The Quiet Beauty of Candlemas” What a beautiful picture to carry within. We’ve had two stove top fires with wax this week and are pretty raucus today with so much snow and with Gung Hay Fat Choy! the beginnings of Chinese New Year so your words speak to me of quiet beauty. Thank you for mentioning my blog.

    May we all herald in the new with grace.

    Candlemas Blessings on your and yours!

    Warmly,
    Lisa

  2. I also love this festival. I focus more on the goddess Brigid, but I always love hearing how the Christian aspect of the season is celebrated by other families. In some pagan communities this is the time when the winter crone goes to the well and becomes the spring maiden… the old meeting the new. Lovely. I also made red lentil soup today, a lovely sunny food on a cold February day. :)

    Happy Candlemas!

    Alyss

  3. Hi Carrie,

    I wondered what your thoughts were on celebrating the different festivals/holy days here in the Southern Hemisphere? Generally I have been finding a way to make these days special in their own way – but differing to how they make sense in the northern hemisphere. Obviously the nature symbolism is not the same at all! We do have some good books here for celebrating advent, Christmas and Easter with their own southern hemisphere flavour. Candlemas just doesn’t fit in for us during the hot summer though, and yet I love the concept of it. We celebrated the first harvest yesterday as that is more in keeping with our place in the wheel of the year. I would like to use some of the Candlemas rituals in our winter though. What do you think?

    Many thanks
    Vicky

  4. We celebrated Candlemas for the very first time yesterday! It was a VERY basic celebration: we took the time to burn down all the old candles, set out new, and fill up all the lanterns. I loved pondering the old giving way to the new. On our walk yesterday we observed how even in creation, this is so. Here, dry seed pods are finally letting go of their grip, mango trees are in blossom, and new leaves are peeking through on trees that have been barren for months. It even rained yesterday, which was refreshing for this dry (and, yes, parched) land.
    What a beautiful celebration!

  5. We filled the house with the smells of beeswax and lemon as we made candles in lemons and used the lemon juice for a pie. It was so sunny and bright on our table during the snowstorm.

  6. We celebrated Candlemas a day late at our house, but the advantage is getting to read about everyone else’s lovely experiences first! One thing we love to do is to melt our Advent wreath candles into candles for Holy Week (1 white for Palm Sunday made from our old Christ candle, 5 purple, and 1 pink for Good Friday). We also set up our own miniature Jewish Temple for carrying our baby Jesus candle to be blessed. We love it. We also process with our Martinmas lanterns as a way to usher back the light. Candlemas is such a beautiful beacon of hope when you live in the frozen tundra as we do!

  7. We rolled and dipped candles, I think the best part was how the beeswax made the whole house smell like heaven! On our walk we looked for signs of spring, and we actually saw our first snowdrop, a lone one amidst a lot of dead leaves and brown earth. So truly there was a glimmer of spring here in Portland, OR.

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