It's time to bust out with the tamales, el Día de la Candelaria is here. I know that for many, they have barely finished all their tamales from over the holidays, but February 2nd has arrived and for those of you who got the monito in the rosca, you got to pay up with tamales.

For those who don't celebrate, or who don't know, el Día de la Candelaria is a religious holiday- in English is has many different names such as Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ or the Feast of the Holy Encounter, but in Mexico, it's simply referred to as el Día de la Candelaria. 

Día de la Candelaria always falls on February 2- yes, the same day as Groundhog day, but it's set to always happen exactly 40 days after Christmas. Why 40 days after Christmas? According to Jewish law, a woman was considered unclean for 40 days after giving birth, and it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after that period of time had passed. so the idea is that Mary and Joseph would have taken Jesus to the temple to be blessed on February second, forty days after his birth on December 25.

Día de la Candelaria follows the Three King's day festivities- or Día de los Reyes which happens on January 6th. For that holiday, we eat King Cake- or a rosca. In the cake, there's a miniature figure of a baby Jesus. Whoever gets the baby Jesus in their piece has to host a family dinner- usually with tamales.

It's not a national holiday neither in American nor Mexico- but it's a cute tradition to continue with family. However, because we're in a pandemic, do remember- no gathering with people who don't live in your home!

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