Candelaria, 2023

(Please click on photos to enlarge.)

This is the party where the folks who got the babies in the cake at the Tres Reyes Party on January 6 have to bring the tamales for the Candelaria party on February 2. Morrie got to come to the party but Zoe and Coco had to go to the doggie hotel.  Morrie was so upset when they left with Pepe, thinking they got to go on a walk but he didn’t. He more than made up at it for the party, however, where he got all the attention. He was a very good boy.

If you don’t know about this tradition, here is a shortened explanation from trip savvy:

The holiday of Candlemas has many names in English, such as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ or the Feast of the Holy Encounter, but in Mexico, it’s simply referred to as el Día de la Candelaria. Even though this religious festival is observed in Catholic church services around the world, Candelaria in Mexico has its own special traditions that don’t exist anywhere else, some of which tie back to Aztec times before Christianity even came to the Americas.

What Is el Día de la Calendaria?

El Día de la Calendaria in English is known in the Catholic Church as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ. It commemorates the day when his mother, Mary, brought him to the Temple in Jerusalem for the first time, as described in the Book of Luke, chapter 2, verse 22-23 in the New Testament. The feast is one of the oldest celebrations in Christianity, dating back to at least the fourth century in ancient Jerusalem. It’s also sometimes known as the Feast of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary since traditions.

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


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