Su amigo y servidor
Padre Jesús Camacho
+++++++Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
February 2: Forty days after Christmas the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, also known as the feast of Candlemas is celebrated. According to Leviticus (12: 2-7), women who gave birth had to go through purification by praying and resting for 40 days in their homes. When the time was over the mother along with her husband would take the child to the temple. This is how Mary and Joseph did this: they presented the Christ Child to the temple and offered a pair of doves (pigeons). Simeon prophesized that this Child was the light of the world (Luke 12, 22-32). This feast day is the derivative for the symbolism of candles which represent the light of Christ thus the name Candlemas which signifies illuminator. Mary is the one who carries the Child, gives light and therefore here comes the origin of the names Our Lady of Light or Our Lady of Candles or Candlemas. In Mexico it is a custom to have the person who discovered the plastic figurine in the king bread (6th of January) become the godparent for the Christ Child and this responsibility would include “picking up” the baby Jesus from the manger (the one that was laid on the 24th of December) and dress him. Once he is dressed, the godparent takes him to Mass on the 2nd of February (where the priest is asked to bless the Child). Upon returning from Mass, the Child is seated in a chair where he will remain all year long. The celebration ends with a meal consisting of tamales, atole (a corn flour drink) and hot chocolate all served by the godparents. Each region and ethnic group marks this celebration with their own cultural characteristics. The celebration consists of popular dancing, fireworks, processions, music to wake people inviting them to go to the temple, carnivals, band music, theatrical representations, flower exchange, traditional dances and of course the blessing of the Children dressed in their best clothes.
Your friend and servant,