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:
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!!