I almost missed this festival, only discovering it while searching for information on what exactly to do with my seasonal table, post Christmas; still winter.
After consulting my favorite festival resource, World Culture Net, for appropriate winter themes, I discovered Candlemas. Alternately, a pagan festival, a Christian holiday, or both, it has morphed into Groundhog Day in The States and is celebrated in Ireland as Imbolc or St. Brigid’s Day.
No matter, it’s the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, so Candlemas brings glad tidings that, at least, we’re on the downhill slope from winter. I find this encouraging. Celebrating seems only appropriate.
Customs include, taking down your Christmas decorations, if you are particularly enamored of that holiday and still have them up, making beeswax candles, lighting pre or home made candles and eating pancakes.
Since, I found lots of conflicting information about the correct way to celebrate this holiday; I decided to make pancakes (blueberry, yum!) and redo my seasonal table.
At a loss of how to reflect the dead of Winter and the expectation of Spring on my table, I roamed the web and consulted a Waldorf book I own, All Year Round. There I found the perfect solution.
…the day before Candlemas is a good day to have a completely fresh start to the Seasonal table. A pale colored cloth and one special candle establishes a mood of expectancy – of hopeful waiting…”
Works for me. Our family table was swiftly updated.
Since we have two seasonal tables, one in our playroom, where candles would be just too tempting, I took a different, but still minimalist approach.
I know in a few weeks, I’ll spoil the simplicity with Valentine hearts but, for now I bask in the tranquility.