Candlemas Day

“Pleasant wit, and harmless fun,

And a dance when day is done,

Music friends so true and tried,

Whispered love by warm fireside,

Mirth at all time together

Make sweet May of Winter weather.”

                        ~Alfred Dommett, 1811-1887

There exists a centuries old custom called “Candlemas Day.” This was the time where families would remove all the holiday decorations.  Usually, this occurred around February 2nd (or midway through winter).  Other families used January 6th as the day to put away all the trimmings of the season.  Also, it was a time for the household to take account of the supply of candles in the home. Prior to the advent of electricity in homes, candlelight was the only light source during those early, dark winter nights.  Once accounted, it was time to replenish the supply.  It was a family event getting out the materials and tools to create new candles to be used for the remainder of the winter season.  Now, as quaint as this activity may sound, it was a lengthy and serious undertaking to ensure enough light for the nights ahead.  

Today, we can improvise.  An easy way to celebrate Candlemas is to gather as many candles as possible, then light them throughout the house for a festive and magical evening.  It is a great time to imagine what it was like to have only candles to light up the night, not a flick of a switch.  It can be noted here, the “dimming” of all other electronics helps add to the golden, quiet atmosphere. Eat dinner by candlelight, read a favorite bedtime story, place some candles in the front of the bathroom mirror (we all look better in candlelight) as you start to settle down for the night.   Candlemas can become an age-old tradition, made new, for your family as a means to bring the holiday season to a close.  The glow softens all the harshness of the day and gives you a sense of peace on earth, at least for one night!