Thursday, February 1, 2007

Today's Lesson

I'm going to a Candlemas party tomorrow

What, you ask, is a Candlemas party? That's what I thought. I've heard of it many times before but have never actually been invited, this will be my first. Here's what I knew...

  • Justin always hosts
  • There are always crepes involved
  • Jamie loves it
  • Lisa wishes there were fewer people invited so she can recreate the joy of Candlemas' past

That's all I knew about Candlemas.

Let me enlighten you with the help of good old Wikipedia

Candlemas is a Christian feast commemorating the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.

The term "Candlemas" refers to the practice found in former Roman Missals whereby a priest on February 2 would bless the candles for use during the year (said candles must be of beeswax. This practice has generally fallen out of use in most of the Latin Rite Church but is still common in rural Irland, where beeswax candles are still blessed, but mainly for use in the home. It is also observed in Poland, where it is called "Matka Boska Gromniczna" ("Matka Boska"="the Mother of God"+"Gromnica" = "beewax candle").

The date of Candlemas is established by the date set for the Nativity of Jesus for it comes forty days afterwards. Under Mosaic law, a mother who had given birth to a man-child 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 puification. 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.

In the United States and Canada, Candlemas evolved into Groundhog Day celebrated on the same date.

Okay, here's the important part (Jusin served his mission in France)

In France, Candlemas (French: La Chandeleur) is celebrated with crêpes, which must be eaten only after eight p.m. If the cook can flip a crêpe while holding a coin in the other hand, the family is assured of prosperity throughout the coming year.

So there you have it... Candlemas in a nutshell. Go ahead, host your own party; crepes, coins and friends is all you need.


Anonymous said...

Yes I do love Candlemas, alas, I will be in Salt Lake and unable to attend the festivities.

Maybe I'll prepare a poem anyways and have my own celebration.