Sunday, 1 February 2015

Mexican Christmas Traditions: Candelaria - Candlemas Celebration and "Levantada del Niño Dios"

Mexican Christmas Traditions - Levantada del Niño Dios

On February 2nd. we celebrate in Mexico "Día de la Candelaria" / Candlemas celebration and also another Christmas Tradition known as "Levantada del Niño Dios".
Levantada del Niño Dios: In this celebration the image of Baby Jesus is dressed up with clothing (dress, shoes, socks, hat, etc ) given as a gift by friends who are invited as godparents. Lullabies are song and the image of Baby Jesus is placed on a tray with chocolates and candies. Each person kiss the "Niño Dios"  image and take some candies from the tray.

The dresses sold for this ceremony are similar to the ones babies wear for the baptism ceremony, but, we can also find dresses that represent different saints.

Dia de La Candelaria: This is the celebration of the presentation of Baby Jesus to the temple. Candles are blessed in this day and also people who found a baby Jesus doll in their piece of "rosca" on the 3 Wise Men Celebration organize a party where the main meal are tamales and atole.

Why tamales and atole in the Candlemas celebration? This very interesting article from Mexico Desconocido (shared by @copasycorchos) explains that the tradition of tamales and atole is a pre-hispanic tradition. tamales are made of corn and were offered to the gods by indigenous people in this day that was the first day of the year in the Aztec calendar. Tamales were also offered in different celebrations and it was the belief that man were made of corn by gods.
Candlemas Celebration - Tamales are served during this celebration


Baby Jesus dresses for the "Levantada" celebration


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