Monday, February 2, 2009


Today is Candlemas, also known as The Festival of Light.
It celebrates the beginning of the lengthening of the days, and in some traditions is considered the beginning of spring. This day is also halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

This festival began in pre-Christian times as a Celebration of Lights and of the Celtic goddess Brigit (February 1st). Candlemas takes its name from the blessing of the candles on this day for use in the church throughout the coming year. This is also a time where we look to the hibernating animals to come out and see if it is winter and whether or not we will have an early Spring,as well as a traditional time of preparation of the fields for later planting.

Some ways that Waldorf families celebrate Candlemas:

Think of goals and things you would like to see happen in this New Year together, in this time of new beginnings, as the earth becomes Spring again and do something to celebrate that.

Candle-making in some form – rolling candles, candle dipping, making earth candles outside in the ground and lighting them. Some families have their candles blessed on this day.

Till a garden plot for March planting.

We normally celebrate this the Saturday before with our dear friend Tiffeni at Kinderhaus. She has a lovely festival where we roll beeswax candles,light one and make a wish and she tells us a story. Unfortunately she had to cancel this year. K was excited to make a candle and celebrate Candlemas on that Saturday so I just went ahead and celebrated it that day instead of Feb. 2nd.

We followed Candlemas traditions all day. We had pancakes for breakfast (pancakes are a traditional Candlemas food. They are a symbol for the sun). I did a tiny bit out in the garden and started our Spring cleaning ritual. I also did some pretty heavy nesting and re-organizing of our kitchen and K's room over the weekend. The thing that symbolizes Candlemas the most for K is the making of candles. We didn't have any sheets of beeswax to roll so we instead melted some blocks of it and poured it into a heart shaped holder (figured I may as well make this for Valentines day as well).

Liquid beeswax setting:

Finished candle:

This was our special Candlemas candle for this year. We lit our special candle at dinnertime and made a wish for Springtime. We will continue to use this candle every meal until it is all gone,then we'll go back to using which ever candles we have around (we light candles for every meal in our house).

Candlelight lifting the darkness of winter and creating a new setting for spring!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Candlemas!!



Marina said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Nicole! As I walking this morning, it looked so much like Spring out and making Candles this afternoon with the boys will be a fun and joyful way to mark the season!

I'll pass on the spring housecleaning today though ;}...

Marina said...

oh, and I JUST noticed you have the angel! So pretty.. yay!

mamanurture said...

This is so informative--thanks! We are slowly learning about Waldorf education and traditions...

Kimberley said...

I first discovered Candlemas while living in france...and fell in love...a dinner of crepes did it for me! We will be feasting on crepes tonight chez nous! We will also light a special candle...and think spring like thoughts...a ground hog came to visit my daughter's school today! So cute.

mamaraby said...

Thank you for such a good description of Candlemas w/lots of great inspirations, too!

Lizz said...

I too was just writing about today. What you and Shelley and I had to say was very similar!

Lovely light!

Lisa said...

So simple and lovely!

FrontierDreams said...

Marina- tee hee,what?! who wouldn't want to clean? we got the angel candleholder as a gift. i was so excited. i have been coveting it for a long,long time now!

mamanurture- i'm glad it could help! it's a lot to take in at first for sure! but thats what i have been doing slowly learning and adding things in each day.

kimberley- wow candlemas in france sounds lovely!mmm crepes!

pampered mom-thank you :) i'm still learning myself so bits here and there.

lizz- I was just looking at your blog and shelley's blog,you're right!! <3

lisa- thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the ideas of things to do on Candlemas! Now that my little guy is almost two, I think he will totally love this. I just picked up "All Year Round" for some inspiration in the year to come. I was trying to decide between that one or the "Festivals, Family and Food" book, but I couldnt find a hard copy of the "Festivals" book to look through. Do you by any chance have it or have read it? (Sorry for the long post)

FrontierDreams said...

2 is when I started with my oldest! Perfect age :) I actually don't have the festival book and have been meaning to check it out, sorry I'm not much help there!

rae ann said...

beautiful. we're adopting this today.

we just moved from my (lifetime) hometown of portland, or. ironically we're now in baltimore and dying a slow death, i'm afraid. we desperately miss home and being surrounded by people who are raising their bebes as we are. it's a daily struggle. your blog brings some comfort and transports me back home for a bit. thank you for that.

FrontierDreams said...

Oh, *hugs* I am so glad this brings you a bit of comfort. Thank you for sharing that. Will you be able to move back? We only just got here in September but we love it already.

rae ann said...

candlemas was BEAUTIFUL! we rolled our own beeswax candles and had at least a dozen covering our table at dinner. it was so fun to talk about the tradition with the girls!

we're hoping to come back next winter. it's all hinging on if my hubby can get a job over there.

i'm so glad you're enjoying portland! i've lived all over the city and have a mad love affair with the place. let me know if you ever need any pointers or ideas of places to adventure!

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