Candlemas Day celebrates the presentation of the baby Jesus in the temple, and is the conclusion of the festivities that begin with Christmas or the birth of Jesus Christ, and continue with the arrival of the Magi, who bring him presents (act symbolized with the children who are in the rosca de reyes).
It is celebrated on February 2 in commemoration of the Virgin with the same name , born in the Canary Islands, Spain; where it is celebrated with a military parade before the President and the King, the party lasts for several days and is held in the Basilica of the Virgen de la Candelaria.
The Festival of Light, Festival of Candles or better known as Día de la Candelaria, has its origin in passages from the Bible: the purification of Mary 40 days after Christmas, that is, February 2, and the presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple.
Why Tamales on Día dela Candelaria?
Corn is a symbolic plant in our country, a life – giving element that perpetuates the essential conditions of existence within a cosmogonic order, which is why it was part of the gifts offered to the deities at the beginning of the planting season.
Traditions of el Día de la Calendaria
Outside of attending church services, Candelaria is celebrated at home with a big family dinner, usually with tamales. The tradition actually begins a month earlier on Three King’s Day when families eat the typical holiday cake called rosca de Reyes, which has a small figurine of baby Jesus baked into the dessert. The person who finds the figurine in their slice of rosca is in charge of hosting the Candelaria party in February—and providing the tamales.
Another important custom in Mexico, particularly in areas where Catholic traditions run strong, is for families to own a doll-sized version of baby Jesus called Niño Dios, or Christ Child. The Niño Dios is first placed in the home Nativity scene on Christmas Eve and then given gifts on Three King’s Day. On Candelaria, people dress up their Niño Dios and bring it to church with them, just as Jesus was believed to have been presented.
San Miguel Times