Candelaria Day (Candlemas Day) is celebrated exactly 40 days after Christmas, that is, February 2nd, and it is because, on that day, the Virgin was purified after the birth of the child God and brought candles to the Church so that they were blessed. This was the original celebration, however, at the time of the Viceroyalty it arrived in Mexico and Candlemas Day coincided with the sowing season that began on February 2nd and was celebrated with exquisite tamales as the main dish.
Origin of Candelaria Day
According to the anthropologist Katia Perdigón, on February 2nd, Candelaria Day, the Virgin used to be the protagonist of the celebration, because it was exactly 40 days after Christmas, so the Virgin went to the Church to be purified and give thanks to God for the arrival of Jesus on Earth. And since then, it has remained the custom to go to church every February 2nd, to thank the child God for bringing light to the hearts of humanity. This religious holiday marks the 40th day after the birth of Jesus. Special masses involve the blessing of seeds for fertility and candles, representing the light of the world. In San Miguel de Allende, Candelaria Day has become famous for plant flower sales held in Juarez Park, and as of last year, in Zeferino Park. Dozens of vendors line the walkways of the park, selling everything imaginable for the garden. People stroll the paths planning the year’s plantings. Young boys with wheelbarrows scurry about, carrying bedding plants and bougainvilleas, terra cotta planters and potting soil, to the cars and trucks parked on the street. In San Miguel de Allende, Candelaria is the unofficial beginning of spring. Also on this night, Mexican families have a traditional party. Whatever family member got the baby doll in the Rosca de Reyes bread on January 6th has to provide tamales and “atole” for the family party tonight. Atole is a delicious hot cornstarch drink that’s a bit like drinking hot thin pudding.