My Featured Blogger this week is Colin, the creator of Bonjour From Brittany. I know little about my friend Colin, except that he lives in Kalon Breizh in “the Heart of Brittany” and is a history and tourism aficionado.
His blog site is a beautifully-written source of facts, stories and legends about this gorgeous region of France. Brittany has its own unique culture and ancient Celtic language (although most Bretons speak French nowadays). It also lent its name, and much of its DNA, to a little place called Great Britain.
Candlemas, or la Chandeleur in French, is celebrated on the second day of February, forty days after Christmas. Announcing the end of winter, the festival was, for centuries, closely associated with traditions related to purification, fertility, prosperity and light and is popularly known here as le jour des crêpes or Pancake Day.
Candlemas is one of those Christian festivals whose precise origins remain obscure. Many ascribe the establishment of the feast day to the 5th century pope, Gelasius I, but it seems that the celebrations were observed in Jerusalem well over a century before his time. The feast of Candlemas honours the presentation, in the Temple, of the infant Jesus, born forty days earlier on Christmas night, and the purification of the Virgin Mary. Its name is said to derive from the blessed candles that were carried in solemn procession to the church.
In establishing its liturgical year…
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