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What does Candlemas celebrate?

Candlemas, which falls on 2 February, right in the middle of winter, marks the end of the Christmas cycle. But why is it a festival with such strong roots? Is it religious or is there a pagan background? What part do candles play in it?

Candlemas is our marmot day

Candlemas has always been regarded as an ideal day for forecasting the weather, especially how many days of cold are left. Si la Candelera plora, l’hivern és fora; si la Candelera riu, l’hivern és viu is a well-known Catalan saying.