Candlemas kănˈdəlməs [key], Feb. 2, Christian festival commemorating the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The name Candlemas is derived from the procession of candles, inspired by the words of Simeon “a light to lighten the Gentiles” (Luke 2.32). In the Roman Catholic Church the candles for use in the ensuing year are blessed on this day. An old superstition claims that the weather is foretold by the ground hog (see woodchuck) on Candlemas.

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