Celebrating Candlemas

News article

Celebrating Candlemas
The ancient festival of Candlemas, which falls on 2nd February, marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. In the Christian faith, candles for the year ahead may be blessed on this day.
 
Community spirit
 
In our communities we celebrate Candlemas as a way to welcome the return of spring when the sun starts to grow stronger and the light of each day lasts longer.

Like all our festival celebrations, it creates a warm feeling of community spirit. As Royston, a resident of Delrow community, says, ‘it is a time when we are together.’

Gathering outdoors

Well wrapped up against the winter cold, people gather outdoors in the late afternoon. As darkness falls, candles are placed into the earth, symbolising how the sun will warm the earth, ready for the planting of crops.

The earth candles are ‘almost like a bulb’, says Royston. ‘Their tops are level with the land. They have giant wicks. It’s lovely to see them still burning the next day.’

Each year is different

‘Every year we gather somewhere different which is lovely as well’, Royston continues. ‘Last year we were on the main lawn.

‘After our friend Thomas passed away, we had Candlemas around the little Rowan tree we planted for him.

‘One year we had it on the meadow. And one of the nicest was in the Badger Dell.

The candles totally transformed it. We had laid down wood chippings to make a path and there were tea lights, lighting the way. The feeling was so welcoming.

‘‘For me, it’s a measure of time. Time flies. There is Michaelmas, Christmas…and before you know, it will be Candlemas again.’

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