The Return of Light: Candlemas

Happy Candlemas and Groundhog Day!

Travels and Tomes: One Expat's Amblings and Ramblings

Ripon Cathedral, Ripon, N. Yorkshire

Photo courtesy of @Riponcathedral twitter Photo courtesy of @Riponcathedral twitter

The winter-blooming snowdrops may be pushing up from the cold ground in England about now, and we are at the halfway point between the shortest day of the year and the March equinox.  Light is returning to the world, and slowly but surely we turn toward spring.

And the religious calendar turns also.  There are few places in the world where Candlemas is still celebrated on February 2nd– Americans are far likelier to think of today as Groundhog Day (same principle, though)– but the Ripon Cathedral is one of those glorious places where the holiday is remembered.  The cathedral is lit with thousands of candles, and candles only,  and a  processional service takes place in the evening.

Our first visit to a Candlemas service took place in 2005 or 2006.  Our children were very young, and we took them in…

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3 thoughts on “The Return of Light: Candlemas

  1. I was thinking of you, and this post, only on Friday, and thinking I MUST go this year. Then I remembered that Saturday was the day, and we’d invited friends for a meal…. Much as I wanted to see them, I was frustrated to miss this yet again. I’ll have to get it early into next year’s diary

    1. Oh no! Well, I think Candlemas will be around for you next year, but mark your calendar early! The date cropped up quickly this year, for me too. It was halfway through the day when I realized what day it was. I always miss Ripon on Candlemas– say hello to Yorkshire for me!

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