Dia de la Candelaria, or Candlemas (in English), is celebrated throughout Mexico on February 2nd.
It is mainly a religious and family celebration where Mexican people dress up the figures of baby Jesus and take him to the church to be blessed.
It is a follow-up to the festivities of Kings Day on January 6th, when children receive gifts and families and friends break bread together called Rosca de Reyes, a special sweet bread with figurines hidden inside. The people who received the figurines on Kings Day are supposed to host the party on Candlemas Day. Tamales are the food of choice! YUM!!
February 2nd also marks the mid-way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox and has long been thought to be a predictor of the weather to come, much like what Groundhog day is in the USA. In many places in Mexico it is traditionally a time to prepare the earth for spring planting.
February 2nd also falls forty days after Christmas, and is the day where Christmas decorations are taken down and put away for another year.
I love all of the Mexican festivals...they always seem to have food involved!! Let's all go enjoy some tamales!!