Candlemas Day (Día de la Candelaria)

People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

feria 02Today is Candlemas, which marks the end of the Christmas season. It is the day of the Mass of the Candles, the celebration of the child Jesus’ presentation to God (his first entry into the temple), and the Virgin Mary’s purification according to Mosaic law). According to that law a mother who had given birth to a male was considered unclean for seven days and for another 33 days she was to remain “in the blood of her purification” (the time was doubled if she had given birth to a girl).

Halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox, Candlemas in pre-Christian times marked winter’s midpoint. Some people thought candles protected them against plague, illness and famine.

Later Candlemas became the day on which the candles to be used during the coming year were brought to church and a blessing was said – so it was the Festival Day of the Candles.

No groundhogs, but it is the unofficial start to spring

It always rains during Candelario.

To each a superstition. Regardless of what happens with groundhogs elsewhere, today is the unofficial beginning of spring in San Miguel and so the 57th la Feria de las Flores or la Feria de la Candelaria began last night. From now until 11 February vendors will line the walkways of Parque Benito Juárez in hopes of selling cacti, flowers, fruit trees, herbs, soil, pots and vegetable plants. Boys and men are available for hire to wheel a buyer’s purchases home.

The official opening of the Feria was marked with a parade yesterday and a presentation by the mayor last night.

My apartment came with five medium pots that had some hard soil and dead plants in them. I’ve wanted to put something in them, but have held back, not knowing how long I would be in San Miguel. Today may be the day that I buy something to dress up the pots.


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