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Lessons from the presentation of jesus in the temple

The story of Jesus’ presentation in the temple is a classic one. It’s one of the few stories from the gospels that all four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) tell, and it’s a key part of the narrative of Jesus’ life.

According to the gospel of Luke, Jesus was taken to the temple at the age of 12 to be presented to God. The temple is a place where Jews celebrated their faith, but it also served as a symbol of their oppression under Roman rule. In this lesson, we will explore what it means that Jesus was presented in this particular place at this particular time.

Right here on Churchgist, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on the presentation of jesus in the temple reflection,the presentation in the temple summary, and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

The story of Jesus in the temple is one of the most well-known stories from the New Testament. It’s taught in Sunday school, it’s been depicted in art, and it’s one of the most popular parables told.

We are going to look at this story from an entirely new perspective: as an opportunity to learn something about ourselves.

We’ve all heard the story before—how when Jesus was twelve years old, he was taken to Jerusalem for his bar mitzvah celebration. But what did that mean? What did it look like? And why was Jesus’ family so worried about how he would perform?

We’ll explore these questions and more as we dive into this important passage from Scripture.

lessons from the presentation of jesus in the temple

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (or in
the temple
) is an early episode in the life of Jesus Christ,
describing his presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem, that is celebrated
by many churches 40 days after Christmas on Candlemas, formally
the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus. The episode is described in chapter
2 of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament.[1] Within
the account, “Luke’s narration of the Presentation in the Temple combines
the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the
firstborn (Luke 2:23–24).”[2]

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Presentation of Jesus at the temple
is celebrated as one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante (Ὑπαπαντή,
“meeting” in Greek).

The Orthodox Churches which use the Julian Calendar celebrate it
on 15 February, and the Armenian Church on 14 February.

In Western Christianity, the Feast of the
Presentation of the Lord
 is also known by its earlier name as
the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin or the Meeting
of the Lord
.[3] In some liturgical calendars, Vespers (or Compline)
on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season,
also (since the 2018 lectionary) in the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD).[4] In
the Church of England, the mother church of the Anglican Communion, the
Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a Principal Feast celebrated
either on 2 February or on the Sunday between 28 January and 3 February. In
the Roman Catholic Church, especially since the time of Pope Gelasius
I (492-496) who in the fifth century contributed to its expansion, the
Feast of the Presentation is celebrated on 2 February.

In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion,
and the Lutheran Church, the episode was also reflected in the once-prevalent
custom of churching of women forty days after the birth of a child.
The Feast of the Presesentation of the Lord is in the Roman Rite also attached
to the World Day of Consecrated Life.[5]

Contents

Scripture[edit]

 

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Meeting
of the Lord
, Russian Orthodox icon, 15th century

The event is described in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22–40).
According to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the Infant
Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days
(inclusive) after His birth to complete Mary’s ritual purification after
childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in
obedience to the Torah (Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12–15, etc.).
Luke explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor
people (those who could not afford a lamb; Leviticus 12:8), sacrificing
“a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Leviticus
12:1–4 indicates that this event should take place forty days after birth
for a male child, hence the Presentation is celebrated forty days after
Christmas.

Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they encountered Simeon. The
Gospel records that Simeon had been promised that “he should not see death
before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:26). Simeon then
uttered the prayer that would become known as the Nunc Dimittis,
or Canticle of Simeon, which prophesied the redemption of the world
by Jesus:

“Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of
all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your
people Israel”. (Luke 2:29–32).

Simeon then prophesied to Mary: “Behold, this child is set for the fall
and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a
sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts
may be revealed. (Luke 2:34–35).

The elderly prophetess Anna was also in the Temple, and
offered prayers and praise to God for Jesus, and spoke to everyone there of His
importance to redemption in Jerusalem (Luke 2:36–38).

In art[edit]

The event forms a usual component of extensive cycles of the Life
of Christ
 and also of the Life of the Virgin. Often
either the Presentation of Jesus or the visually similar Circumcision
of Jesus
 was shown, but by the late Middle Ages the two were
sometimes combined. Early images concentrated on the moment of meeting with
Simeon, typically shown at the entrance to the Temple, and this is continued
in Byzantine art and Eastern Orthodox icons to the present
day.[citation needed]

In the West, beginning in the 8th or 9th century, a different depiction at
an altar emerged, where Simeon eventually by the Late Middle Ages came
to be shown wearing the elaborate vestments attributed to the Jewish High
Priest, and conducting a liturgical ceremony surrounded by the family and Anna.
In the West, Simeon is more often already holding the infant, or the moment of
handover is shown; in Eastern images the Virgin is more likely still to hold
Jesus.[6]

Gallery[edit]

  • Presentation of Jesus at the Temple,
    12th century cloisonné enamel icon from Georgia
  • Presentation
    of Christ in the Temple, from the Sherbrooke Missal
  • James
    Tissot, The
    Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
     (La présentation de Jésus au Temple), Brooklyn
    Museum
  • Stained
    glass window at St. Michael’s Cathedral (Toronto) depicts Infant
    Jesus at the Temple
  • Painting
    from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD)
  • Presentation of Christ in the Temple,
    South German, likely altarpiece wing, late 15th century.
    (Private collection)

In music[edit]

 

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Many motets and anthems have been composed to celebrate this feast and are
performed as part of the liturgy, among them an anthem by 16th century German
composer Johannes Eccard (1553–1611), Maria
wallt zum Heiligtum
, often translated in English as “When Mary
to the Temple went”.

The Lutheran church of the Baroque observed the feast
as Mariae Reinigung (Purification of Mary). Johann
Sebastian Bach composed several cantatas to be performed in
the church service of the day, related to Simeon’s canticle Nunc
dimittis
 as part of the prescribed readings.

  • Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde,
    BWV 83, 1724
  • Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr
    dahin
    , BWV 125, 1725 (on Luther’s hymn after Nunc dimittis)
  • Ich habe genug,
    BWV 82, 1727

Liturgical celebration[edit]

Main article: Candlemas

 

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The Presentation
of Jesus at the Temple

Presentation of Christ at
the Temple
 by Hans Holbein the Elder, 1500–01 (Kunsthalle
Hamburg)

Observed by

Roman CatholicsAnglicansEastern OrthodoxLutheransOriental
OrthodoxMethodists

Type

Christian

Date

2 February (in churches using the Julian calendar,
presently corresponds to Gregorian 15 February)
14 February (Armenian Apostolic Church)

Name of the celebration[edit]

In addition to being known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at
the Temple, other traditional names include Candlemas, the Feast of the
Purification of the Virgin,[7] and the Meeting of the Lord.[8]

The date of Candlemas is established by the date set for the Nativity
of Jesus, for it comes forty days afterwards. Under Mosaic law as
found in the Torah, a mother who had given birth to a boy was considered
unclean for seven days; moreover she was to remain for three and thirty days
“in the blood of her purification.” Candlemas therefore corresponds
to the day on which Mary, according to Jewish law, should have attended a
ceremony of ritual purification (Leviticus 12:2–8). The Gospel of
Luke 2:22–39 relates that Mary was purified according to the religious law,
followed by Jesus’ presentation in the Jerusalem temple, and this
explains the formal names given to the festival, as well as its falling 40 days
after the Nativity.

In the Roman Catholic Church, it is known as the Presentation
of the Lord
 in the liturgical books first issued by Paul
VI,[9] and as the Purification of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
 in earlier editions. In the Eastern
Orthodox Church and Greek Catholic Churches (Eastern Catholic Churches which
use the Byzantine rite), it is known as the Feast
of the Presentation of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple
 or
as The Meeting of Our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In the churches of the Anglican Communion, it is known by various
names, including The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
in The Temple (Candlemas)
 (Episcopal Church),[7] The
Presentation of Christ in the Temple, and The Purification of the Blessed
Virgin Mary
 (Anglican Church of Canada),[10] The
Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas)
 (Church of
England),[11] and The Presentation of
Christ in the Temple
 (Anglican Church of Australia).

It is known as the Presentation of Our Lord in the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod observes 2
February as The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord.[12] In
some Protestant churches, the feast is known as the Naming of Jesus
(though historically he would have been named on the eighth day after the
Nativity, when he was circumcised).

Candlemas is a northern European name for the feast
because of the procession with lighted candles at the mass on this day,
reflecting Simeon’s proclamation of “a light for revelation to the
Gentiles”, which, in turn, echoes Isaiah 49:6 in the second of the
“servant of the Lord” oracles.[11]

Practices[edit]

Traditionally, Candlemas had been the last feast day in the Christian
year that was dated by reference to Christmas. It is another
“epiphany” type feast as Jesus is revealed as the messiah by the
canticle of Simeon and the prophetess Anna.[13] It also fits
into this theme, as the earliest manifestation of Jesus inside the house of his
heavenly Father.[11] Subsequent moveable feasts are
calculated with reference to Easter.

Western Christianity[edit]

 

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Candlemas occurs 40 days after Christmas.

Traditionally, the Western term “Candlemas” (or Candle Mass)
referred to the practice whereby a priest on 2 February blessed beeswax candles for
use throughout the year, some of which were distributed to the faithful for use
in the home. In Poland the feast is called Święto
Matki Bożej Gromnicznej
 (Feast of Our Lady of Thunder
candles). This name refers to the candles that are blessed on this day, called
gromnice, since these candles are lit during (thunder) storms and placed in
windows to ward off storms.

Presentation
of Jesus, showing (L to R) Mary, Simeon (holding Jesus), and Joseph with doves
as a Temple sacrifice, stained glass window c. 1896, Church of the Good
Shepherd (Rosemont, Pennsylvania)

This feast has been referred to as the Feast of Presentation of the Lord
within the Roman Catholic Church since the liturgical revisions of the Second
Vatican Council, with references to candles and the purification of Mary
de-emphasised in favor of the Prophecy of Simeon the Righteous. Pope
John Paul II connected the feast day with the renewal of religious
vows. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is
the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.[14]

In the Liturgy of the Hours, the Marian antiphon Alma Redemptoris
Mater
 is used from Advent through 2 February, after which Ave
Regina Caelorum
 is used through Good Friday.[15]

Eastern Christianity[edit]

In the Byzantine tradition practiced by the Eastern Orthodox,
the Meeting of the Lord is unique among the Great Feasts in that it
combines elements of both a Great Feast of the Lord and a Great Feast of
the Theotokos (Mother of God). It has a forefeast of one
day, and an afterfeast of seven days. However, if the feast falls
during Cheesefare Week or Great Lent, the afterfeast is either
shortened or eliminated altogether.

The holiday is celebrated with an all-night vigil on the
eve of the feast, and a celebration of the Divine Liturgy the next
morning, at which beeswax candles are blessed. This blessing traditionally
takes place after the Little Hours and before the beginning of the
Divine Liturgy (though in some places it is done after). The priest reads four
prayers, and then a fifth one during which all present bow their heads before
God. He then censes the candles and blesses them with holy water.
The candles are then distributed to the people and the Liturgy begins.

It is because of the biblical events recounted in the second chapter of Luke
that the Churching of Women came to be practiced in both Eastern and
Western Christianity. The usage has mostly died out in the West, except
among Western Rite Orthodoxy, very occasionally still among Anglicans,
and Traditionalist Catholics, but the ritual is still practiced in the
Orthodox Church. In addition, babies, both boys and girls are taken to the
Church on the fortieth day after their birth in remembrance of the Theotokos
and Joseph taking the infant Jesus to the Temple.[8]

Some Christians observe the practice of leaving Christmas decorations up
until Candlemas.

Date[edit]

Meeting
of the Lord
, Orthodox icon from Belarus (1731)

In the Eastern and Western liturgical calendars the Presentation
of the Lord falls on 2 February, forty days (inclusive) after Christmas.
In the Church of England it may be celebrated on this day, or on the Sunday
between 28 January and 3 February. This feast never falls in Lent; the earliest
that Ash Wednesday can fall is 4 February, for the case of Easter on 22 March
in a non-leap year. However, in the Tridentine rite, it can fall in the
pre-Lenten season if Easter is early enough, and “Alleluia” has to be
omitted from this feast’s liturgy when that happens.

In Swedish and Finnish Lutheran Churches, Candlemas is (since
1774) always celebrated on a Sunday, at earliest on 2 February and at
latest on 8 February, except if this Sunday happens to be the last Sunday
before Lent, i.e. Shrove Sunday or Quinquagesima (Swedish: Fastlagssöndagen, Finnish: Laskiaissunnuntai),
in which case Candlemas is celebrated one week earlier.[16][17]

In the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Feast, called “The Coming of
the Son of God into the Temple”[3] (Tiarn’ndaraj,
from Tyarn-, “the Lord”,
and -undarach “going forward”), is
celebrated on 14 February. The Armenians do not celebrate the Nativity on 25
December, but on 6 January, and thus their date of the feast is 40 days after
that: 14 February. The night before the feast, Armenians traditionally light
candles during an evening church service, carrying the flame out into the
darkness (symbolically bringing light into the void) and either take it home to
light lamps or light a bonfire in the church courtyard.

History[edit]

 

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The Feast of the Presentation is among the most ancient feasts of the
Church. Celebration of the feast dates from the fourth century in Jerusalem.[7] There
are sermons on the Feast by the bishops Methodius of Patara (†
312),[18] Cyril of Jerusalem[19] († 360), Gregory
the Theologian († 389), Amphilochius of Iconium († 394),[20] Gregory
of Nyssa († 400),[21] and John Chrysostom (†
407).[22]

The earliest reference to specific liturgical rites surrounding the feast
are by the intrepid Egeria, during her pilgrimage to the Holy
Land (381–384). She reported that 14 February was a day solemnly kept
in Jerusalem with a procession to Constantine I’s Basilica
of the Resurrection, with a homily preached on Luke 2:22 (which
makes the occasion perfectly clear), and a Divine Liturgy. This
so-called Itinerarium Peregrinatio (“Pilgrimage
Itinerary”) of Egeria does not, however, offer a specific name for the
Feast. The date of 14 February indicates that in Jerusalem at that time,
Christ’s birth was celebrated on 6 January, Epiphany. Egeria writes for
her beloved fellow nuns at home:

XXVI. “The fortieth day after the Epiphany is undoubtedly celebrated
here with the very highest honor, for on that day there is a procession, in
which all take part, in the Anastasis, and all things are done in their order
with the greatest joy, just as at Easter. All the priests, and after them the
bishop, preach, always taking for their subject that part of the Gospel where
Joseph and Mary brought the Lord into the Temple on the fortieth day, and
Symeon and Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, saw him, treating of
the words which they spake when they saw the Lord, and of that offering which
his parents made. And when everything that is customary has been done in order,
the sacrament is celebrated, and the dismissal takes place.”

An Armenian miniature
illustrating the subject (Mugni Gospels, c. 1060)

About AD 450 in Jerusalem, people began the custom of holding lighted
candles during the Divine Liturgy of this feast day.[8] Originally,
the feast was a minor celebration. But then in 541, a terrible plague broke
out in Constantinople, killing thousands. The Emperor Justinian I, in
consultation with the Patriarch of Constantinople, ordered a period
of fasting and prayer throughout the entire Empire. And, on
the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, arranged great processions throughout the
towns and villages and a solemn prayer service (Litia) to ask for
deliverance from evils, and the plague ceased. In thanksgiving, in 542 the
feast was elevated to a more solemn celebration and established throughout
the Eastern Empire by the Emperor.

In Rome, the feast appears in the Gelasian Sacramentary,
a manuscript collection of the seventh and eighth centuries associated
with Pope Gelasius I. There it carries for the first time the new title of
the feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Late in time though it
may be, Candlemas is still the most ancient of all the festivals in honor of
the Virgin Mary.[3] The date of the feast in Rome was 2
February because the Roman date for Christ’s nativity had been 25 December
since at least the early fourth century.

Though modern laymen picture Candlemas as an important feast throughout
the Middle Ages in Europe, in fact it spread slowly in the West;
it is not found in the Lectionary of Silos
(650) nor in the Calendar (731–741)
of Sainte-Geneviève of Paris.

The tenth-century Benedictional of St. Æthelwold, bishop of
Winchester, has a formula used for blessing the candles. Candlemas did become
important enough to find its way into the secular calendar. It was the
traditional day to remove the cattle from the hay meadows, and from the field
that was to be ploughed and sown that spring. References to it are common in
later medieval and early Modern literature; Shakespeare’s Twelfth
Night
 is recorded as having its first performance on Candlemas Day
1602. It remains one of the Scottish quarter days, at which debts are paid
and law courts are in session.

Relation to other celebrations[edit]

The Feast of the Presentation depends on the date for Christmas: As per
the passage from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:22–40) describing the event in the
life of Jesus, the celebration of the Presentation of the Lord follows 40 days
after. The blessing of candles on this day recalls Simeon’s reference to the
infant Jesus as the “light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32).

Modern Pagans believe that Candlemas is a Christianization[23][24][25] of
the Gaelic festival of Imbolc, which was celebrated in
pre-Christian Europe (and especially the Celtic Nations) at
about the same time of year.[26][27] Imbolc is called “St.
Brigid’s Day” or “Brigid” in Ireland.[28] Both
the goddess Brigid and the Christian Saint Brigid—who was the Abbess of Kildare—are
associated with sacred flames, holy wells and springs, healing, and
smithcraft. Brigid is a virgin, yet also the patron of midwives. However, a
connection with Roman (rather than Celtic or Germanic) polytheism is more
plausible, since the feast was celebrated before any serious attempt to expand
Christianity into non-Roman countries.

Presentation
of Christ in the Temple
, Benozzo Gozzoli, 1460-1461 (Philadelphia
Museum of Art)

In Irish homes, there were many rituals revolving around
welcoming Brigid into the home. Some of Brigid’s rituals and legends
later became attached to Saint Brigid, who was seen by Celtic Christians as
the midwife of Christ and “Mary of the Gael”. In Ireland and Scotland
she is the “foster mother of Jesus.” The exact date of the Imbolc
festival may have varied from place to place based on local tradition and
regional climate. Imbolc is celebrated by modern Pagans[citation
needed
]
 on the eve of 2 February, at the astronomical midpoint,
or on the full moon closest to the first spring thaw.

Frederick Holweck, writing in the Catholic Encyclopædia says
definite in its rejection of this argument: “The feast was certainly not
introduced by Pope Gelasius to suppress the excesses of the
Lupercalia,” (referencing J.P. Migne, Missale Gothicum,
691)[29] The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica agrees:
the association with Gelasius “has led some to suppose that it was
ordained by Pope Gelasius I in 492 as a counter-attraction to the
pagan Lupercalia; but for this there is no warrant.”[3] Since
the two festivals are both concerned with the ritual purification of women, not
all historians are convinced that the connection is purely coincidental.
Gelasius certainly did write a treatise against Lupercalia, and this still
exists.

Pope Innocent XII believed Candlemas was created as an alternative to
Roman Paganism, as stated in a sermon on the subject:

Why do we in this feast carry candles? Because the Gentiles dedicated
the month of February to the infernal gods, and as at the beginning of it Pluto stole Proserpine,
and her mother Ceres sought her in the night with lighted candles, so
they, at the beginning of the month, walked about the city with lighted
candles. Because the holy fathers could not extirpate the custom, they ordained
that Christians should carry about candles in honor of the Blessed Virgin; and
thus what was done before in the honor of Ceres is now done in honor of the
Blessed Virgin.[30]

There is no contemporary evidence to support the popular notions that
Gelasius abolished the Lupercalia, or that he, or any other prelate, replaced
it with the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.[31]

In Armenia, celebrations at the Presentation have been influenced by
pre-Christian customs, such as: the spreading of ashes by farmers in their
fields each year to ensure a better harvest, keeping ashes on the roof of a
house to keep evil spirits away, and the belief that newlywed women needed to
jump over fire to purify themselves before getting pregnant. Young men will
also leap over a bonfire.

The tradition of lighting a candle in each window is not the origin of the
name “Candlemas”, which instead refers to a blessing of candles.

On the day following Candlemas, the feast of St. Blaise is
celebrated. It is connected to the rite of Blessing of the Throats, which
is, for to be available to reach more people, also often transferred after the
Mass of the Presentation of the Lord or even bestowed on both feasts. By
coincidence, the Blessing of the Throats is bestowed with crossed candles.

Candles on
Candlemas Day, Sanok 2013

Traditions and superstitions[edit]

“Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and mistletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress’d the Christmas Hall”

— Robert Herrick (1591–1674), “Ceremony upon Candlemas Eve”

As the poem by Robert Herrick records, the eve of Candlemas was
the day on which Christmas decorations of greenery were removed from people’s
homes; for traces of berries, holly and so forth will bring death
among the congregation before another year is out.[32]

In Scotland, until a change in the law in 1991 (see Scottish term
days), and in much of northern England until the 18th century, Candlemas was
one of the traditional quarter days when quarterly rents were due for
payment, as well as the day or term for various other business transactions,
including the hiring of servants.

Blessing
of the Candles at Candlemas at Calvary Episcopal Church (Rochester,
Minnesota)

In the United Kingdom, good weather at Candlemas is taken to indicate
severe winter weather later: “If Candlemas Day is
clear and bright, / winter will have another bite. / If Candlemas Day brings
cloud and rain, / winter is gone and will not come again.
[33] It
is also alleged to be the date that bears emerge from hibernation to
inspect the weather as well as wolves, who if they choose to return to
their lairs on this day is interpreted as meaning severe weather will continue
for another forty days at least.[citation needed] The
same is true in Italy, where it is called Candelora.

The Carmina Gadelica, a seminal collection of Scottish folklore, refers
to a serpent coming out of the mound on Latha Fheill Bride,
as the Scots call Candlemas. This rhyme is still used in the West Highlands and
Hebrides.Moch maduinn Bhride, Thig an nimhir as an toll; Cha bhoin mise
ris an nimhir, Cha bhoin an nimhir rium
.(Early on Bride’s morn, the
serpent will come from the hollow I will not molest the serpent, nor will the
serpent molest me)Thig an nathair as an toll, la donn Bride
Ged robh tri traighean dh’ an t-sneachd air leachd an lair
.(The
serpent will come from the hollow on the brown day of Bridget Though there
should be three feet of snow on the flat surface of the ground)

Candlemas
Day in the Carpathian region

In the United States, Candlemas coincides with Groundhog Day, the
earliest American reference to which can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch
Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College. The reference implies
that Groundhog Day may have come from a German-American Candlemas tradition:

Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to
the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees
his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he
remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.

— 4 February 1841—from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania)
storekeeper James Morris’ diary, [1]

In France and Belgium, Candlemas (French: La
Chandeleur
) is celebrated with crêpes.

In Italy, traditionally, it (Italian: La Candelora)
is considered the last cold day of winter.

In Tenerife (Spain), it is the day of the Virgin of
Candelaria (Saint Patron of the Canary Islands).

In Southern and Central Mexico, and Guatemala City, Candlemas (Spanish: Día
de La Candelaria
) is celebrated with tamales. Tradition
indicates that on 5 January, the night before Three Kings Day (the
Epiphany), whoever gets one or more of the few plastic or metal dolls
(originally coins) buried within the Rosca de Reyes must pay for the
tamales and throw a party on Candlemas.[citation needed] In
certain regions of Mexico, this is the day in which the baby Jesus of each
household is taken up from the nativity scene and dressed up in
various colorful, whimsical outfits.[citation needed]

In Luxembourg, Liichtmëss sees children
carrying lighted sticks visiting neighbors and singing a traditional song in exchange
for sweets.[34]

Sailors are often reluctant to set sail on Candlemas Day, believing
that any voyage begun then will end in disaster—given the frequency of severe
storms in February, this is not entirely without sense.[citation
needed
]

According to over eight centuries of tradition, the swaddling clothes that
baby Jesus wore during the presentation at the Temple are kept in Dubrovnik Cathedral,
Croatia.[35]

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