Today, February 2ND, it’s raining in Siena and at Hotel Borgo Grondaie we are all happy! We’re not crazy, we are happy because today is the day of Candlemas and the Italian popular saying: “for Candlemas if it rains spring is not far away, if it doesn’t rain winter is still stay”.
The Candlemas, whose name comes from the Latin festum candelarum (in relation to the custom of blessing the candles before light them and take them in procession by the faithfuls who can re-use them at home to invoke divine support) seems to have been introduced by the patriarch of Rome Gelasius in 474 AD to replace the pagan festival called Lupercalia. This was once celebrated in February in honor of God Faun (from the Latin Lupercus, the protector of sheep and goats) through purification ritual to protect the flocks from hungry wolves during the winter.
In other pagan traditions, as for the Celts for example, Candlemas was the transition period between winter and spring, between the darkness and the awakening of the light. And yet, for the followers of magical rites this is the perfect day to find out if a person is affected or not by the evil eye.
In this day the Catholic Church celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem. The baby Jesus was presented by Simeon as ” a light for a revelation “, in fact, on this day the candles are blessed as a symbol of the light of Christ.