How To Celebrate Candlemas With Catholic Children

Candlemas is a Catholic feast day that happens every year on February 2. In Jewish tradition at the time, a baby boy was to be presented at the temple 40 days after he was born to be dedicated to God, so Candlemas is 40 days after Christmas morning. This day used to be known as the “purification of Mary”, as mothers were purified at the temple that day from having their baby. There are tons of fun and traditional ways to celebrate Candlemas with Catholic kids so let’s look at some ideas that may work for your family. 

A Little Bit About The Presentation Of Jesus

The more you understand about a feast day the better you can celebrate it, and learning is the whole point, so here’s what you need to know. The presentation of the Lord is a big deal to Catholics! How is this for confusing – 

The presentation of the Lord at the temple is both the first sorrow of the 7 sorrows of Mary, and also the 4th joyful mystery of the rosary! How can it be both joyful and sorrowful? The answer lies in the story.

When Jesus was brought to the temple Simeon was there, and he took Jesus in his arms and said that Jesus would be a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and also that a sword would pierce Mary’s soul. This is known as the prophecy of Simeon. So that’s why it was as bitter sweet occasion. (Luke 2:29-35)

When the parents presented the baby at the temple they needed to bring an offering, and since Mary and St. Joseph were poor, their offering was 2 doves. 

Candlemas Symbols And Their Explanation 

  • Candles- because Jesus was going to be a “light for the Gentiles”
  • Snowdrops- Also known as “Candlemas bells”, they typically bloom a little before this day and got traditionally tied to the feast day. Some thought it was bad luck to bring them inside before Candlemas. 
  • Doves- presented as the offering 

Candlemas Craft Ideas

At our house we always love to celebrate a feast day with a fun craft! Because Candlemas is traditionally celebrated with candles, , my first craft idea is to actually make a candle craft with kids! That does not mean you need to make actual candles (although you could) but even a simple paper craft can make this a really fun feast day celebration! Be sure to check out my round up of candle crafts here– I have crafts for all ages and abilities listed.

I have another post with a Candlemas craftivity idea as well! You craft a roll of coins into a candle, then go to mass and leave it in the collection basket. This is a super great way to make an activity meaningful for Candlemas and then you don’t have a craft laying around the house because it’s in the collection basket 😉 

The Homely Hours has a really cute Candlemas craft with free printables! Check it out.

Since Simeon said that Jesus would be a light to the people, why not try my this little light of mine craft for preschoolers?! The kids absolutely love that it really lights up, and mom will love how easy and safe this craft is since the candles are battery operated.

This Little Light of Mine Craft

Candlemas Food Ideas

Food is always a great way to celebrate feast day because we always have to eat. Crepes are by far the most traditional food for Candlemas, and are very popular for celebrating in Europe, especially France. Whatever you serve, you’ll want to put some candles on the table to celebrate this awesome day. Here are some recipes you might like to try

If you think you can’t make crepes at home yourself, you’re wrong! It’s really every bit as easy as making pancakes. Check out this recipe for the best easy homemade crepes. It’s the one we use and it’s fantastic! My family loves to eat crepes for Candlemas!

Cottage Blessings had a Candlemas tea 🙂 Find her menu here and pictures of the event here.

Mexican Catholics like to celebrate Candlemas with tamales, Wouldn’t that be awesome to try?!

Candlemas Songs For Kids

You might also take the time to sing “This Little Light of Mine” with your kids. It’s a super fun song and I was an adult before I realized that the song actually taught me a Bible story. #sneakylearning

Candlemas Videos

Kendra over at Catholic All Year actually has her family use only candles to light their entire day- see the video about it here.

And here is a video that explains the story of Simeon and Anna from the Bible during Jesus’ presentation.

 

Candlemas Prayers 

The presentation of the Lord is the 4th joyful mystery of the rosary! So actually, praying the joyful mysteries would be a perfect way to celebrate Candlemas with your kids! If they’re too little to sit through the whole thing, you can pray just a decade. 
 
Catholic Culture has a great guide for having your own Candlemas ceremony here

More Candlemas Traditions And Activities 

If you are wanting to live the liturgical year by having a Candlemas party, how about having a liturgical tea party? Our family loves to throw these for special feast days. They are super fast and easy to put together and are always fun for the whole family. 

Some people traditionally leave Christmas decorations up until Candlemas, and in fact the Vatican leaves their Christmas tree up until February 2 every year.

Check out this coloring page for Candlemas, free to print from Super Coloring.
 

Candlemas Books Ideas For Kids

I just love to read to my kids on feast days so they can learn about the true meaning. I mean, if they don’t understand what the feast day is all about, what is the point? 

We like to read the story of the presentation from our 2 favorite children’s bibles!

The page below is a craft page from my Christmas treasury for kids, Holidays In Handprints, about how Candlemas is the end of the season. 

A Candlemas Poem by Robert Herrick

You can read about exactly when the Catholic Christmas season ends here. Happy celebrating, everyone! 

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