February 2nd, exactly 40 days after Christmas, is the day when Catholics traditionally celebrate the “Feast of Candelaria”, or Candlemas, in which believers bring figures of the Baby Jesus dressed in finery, and exhibit them at churches.
Candelaria is the follow-up holiday to Christmas (Dec. 25) and King’s Day (Jan. 6).
In some regions in Mexico, streets are decorated with lanterns and people march in candle-lit processions to their churches. Families traditionally get together to partake of a tamales and atole feast on this day.
The date, Feb. 2, is believed to have pagan roots, as people bid the winter farewell. It marks the middle point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and is considered the day that marks warm weather to come, making the holiday the Latino cousin of Groundhog Day.