Candlemas Day in Mexico: Symbolism and Joyful Festivities

Yummy! What's that smell? Oh, it's tamales time!

Do you want to know the history and symbolism about Candlemas day?
Which are the festivities in Mexico?
Which are the best destinations in Mexico to spend this day?
What is the traditional food to eat at the Candlemas day in Mexico?

Candlemas Day in Mexico illuminates cultural heritage through symbolic rituals and wonderful festivities, marking a blend of tradition, culture, and spirituality. Keep reading with us!


Candlemas Day History and Symbolism

Candlemas Day, which is celebrated on February 2nd, is very important in Mexican culture. It mixes old traditions with Christian beliefs. These traditions go way back to before Spanish people came to Mexico. Back then, indigenous communities praised a god called Tlaloc. He was believed to bring rain and make crops grow.

When the Spanish came to Mexico, they brought their customs. These mixed with the traditions already there. One of those was the feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

The symbolism of Candlemas Day revolves around light, purification, and the transition from winter to spring. Candles play a central role, symbolizing the purification of the Virgin Mary forty days after the birth of Jesus, as well as the light of Christ illuminating the world.

In Mexico, families gather in churches to have their candles blessed, signifying protection and guidance for the year ahead. Throughout Mexico, Candlemas Day is celebrated with joyful festivities, including processions, feasting, and the sharing of tamales, a traditional dish symbolizing abundance and unity.

People decorate their homes with candles and colorful things, making them feel cozy and happy. This celebration isn’t just about religion. It also helps Mexicans feel proud of their culture and brings them closer together as a community.

Festivities in Mexico

Rosca de Reyes

In Mexico, Candlemas Day is a happy time with nice food and special traditions. People love sharing “Rosca de Reyes,” a sweet bread with fruit on top. It looks like a ring to show the crowns of the three wise men.

Hidden inside the bread is a tiny baby Jesus figure. If you find it in your slice, you throw a party on Candlemas Day, February 2nd, where you usually serve tamales.

Christmas in Mexico
Traditional Rosca de Reyes


Tamales are delicious and a big part of celebrating Candlemas. They’re like little bundles of tasty dough filled with meat, cheese, or veggies, wrapped up in corn husks or banana leaves and cooked just right.

Lots of families and friends get together to make tamales. It’s fun because everyone helps out and tells stories while they work. Eating tamales on Candlemas Day means good luck and lots of good things coming your way in the new year.

traditional food of yucatan cuisine dishes
Delicious Tamal

Patronal Festivities

Candlemas Day is a time when many places in Mexico have big parties to honor local saints and traditions. The streets fill up with parades, music, and lots of decorations. It feels like the whole town is celebrating together.

During these festivities, people dress up in bright colors and march through the streets. There’s music playing, and everyone dances and sings along. The main squares are decorated with lights and flowers, making everything look really pretty and exciting.

These patronal festivities bring the community closer together. People of all ages come out to join in the fun and show their pride in their town and its traditions. It’s a time for everyone to come together and celebrate their shared culture and heritage.

candlemas day
San Isidro Labrador Patron Saint’s Day in Metepec, State of Mexico

Dressing Baby Jesus

Besides eating Rosca de Reyes and enjoying tamales, another special thing people do on Candlemas Day in Mexico is dressing up the baby Jesus figurine they find in the bread. Families carefully put fancy clothes on the tiny Jesus, making it look like a religious icon.

This is a way to remember when Jesus was presented at the temple, as told in Christian stories. After dressing up the baby Jesus, families put it in their nativity scene at home. It stays there until next year’s celebrations. This tradition reminds everyone how important Jesus is in Mexican culture and faith.

These celebrations aren’t just about having fun. They also bring communities together. People feel closer to each other as they celebrate their shared culture and traditions. It’s a time for everyone to feel proud of where they come from and who they are.

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Sale of dresses for ‘Niños Dios’ in the Sanchez Piedras market in Tlaxcala.

Best Destinations in Mexico

San Cristobal de las Casas

Mexico has lots of great places to celebrate Candlemas Day, each with its own special mix of traditions, culture, and beautiful scenery. One of the most popular spots is San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas.

This town is full of charm, with colorful parades, lively music, and busy markets happening during Candlemas. You can explore the rich traditions of the indigenous people who live there and try tasty local foods like tamales and atole. It’s a fun and exciting place to experience the spirit of Candlemas in Mexico.

tour chiapas
San Juan Chamula Festivity


Another great option is Puebla, known for its big parties and beautiful buildings. You can see a special ceremony where candles are blessed at the old Cathedral and try exquisite food like “mole poblano.”

Close by, Cholula is worth a visit too. It has old pyramids to explore and cute streets to walk around. During Candlemas, you can experience the town’s unique culture and traditions.

why visit cholula puebla
Colorful and Picturesque Santa Maria Tonantzinta Temple


If you want to go to the beach for Candlemas, Veracruz is a great place to go. You can relax on sunny beaches, eat seafood, and listen to fun music during the celebrations. Nearby, Tlacotalpan is also a cool spot to check out. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has colorful parades and dances to honor the Virgin of Candlemas.

Veracruz Tour
Danzon – Traditional Dance from Veracruz


Lastly, there’s Taxco, a pretty town famous for its silver jewelry and old buildings. It’s a special place to be for Candlemas. You can walk along twisty streets, visit old churches, and join in on parades and other traditions.

It doesn’t matter if you like the old-timey vibe of San Cristóbal, the incredible food in Puebla, the sunny beaches in Veracruz, or the cool culture in Taxco. Spending Candlemas Day in Mexico will be a time you’ll always remember, full of warmth, tradition, and fun.

Taxco Tour from Mexico City
Taxco Magical Town

Traditional Food


Candlemas Day in Mexico is all about delicious traditional foods and drinks that show off the country’s tasty cooking. One of the favorite foods during this time is tamales.

Tamales are like little bundles of corn dough stuffed with all sorts of delicious things like meat, cheese, veggies, or even sweet stuff. They’re wrapped up in corn husks or banana leaves and cooked just right. Tamales are a big deal for Candlemas all over Mexico because they remind everyone of good times and coming together.

mexican street food Christmas in Mexico
Traditional Tamales

Rosca de Reyes

Another yummy treat during Candlemas Day is the “Rosca de Reyes,” also called King’s Cake. It’s a sweet bread that looks like a ring and has colorful fruit on top. People usually eat it on January 6th for the Feast of the Epiphany, but it’s still enjoyed during Candlemas.

Inside the Rosca de Reyes, there’s a tiny figurine of baby Jesus. If you find it in your piece of cake, you have to throw a party on Candlemas Day, which is February 2nd. At the party, you serve tamales and other tasty foods. It’s a fun tradition that brings families and friends together to celebrate.

candlemas day


With all the amazing food, Mexicans like to sip on warm drinks like atole or champurrado. Atole is a thick, creamy drink made from corn flour, water, and sugar, with flavors like cinnamon or vanilla added to make it tasty.

Champurrado is a lot like Atole but has chocolate in it, making it super rich and delicious. These cozy drinks are perfect for a chilly Candlemas Day, adding a bit of warmth and sweetness to the celebrations. It’s nice to sip on them while enjoying the festive atmosphere with family and friends.

candlemas day in mexico
Traditional atole

In addition to these traditional foods and drinks,

During Candlemas celebrations, people enjoy special foods from different parts of Mexico. These dishes show off the country’s special and unique cooking traditions. You can try all sorts of tasty things, from the rich flavors of mole poblano to the fresh taste of ceviche on the coast.

Each region has its unique dishes that they’re proud of. It’s like taking a delicious journey through Mexico’s culinary culture. Candlemas Day is a great time to taste all these great foods and appreciate the diversity of flavors found across the country.

candlemas day
Lady Cooking Tortillas


In Mexico, Candlemas Day is a happy time filled with traditions and tasty food. People come together to celebrate and enjoy special treats like tamales and Rosca de Reyes. They also drink warm atole or champurrado to keep cozy.

Whether you’re in a colonial town like Puebla, by the beach in Veracruz, or in a pretty place like Taxco, Candlemas Day shows off Mexico’s culture. Families gather to dress up the baby Jesus and share lots of food and drinks. It’s a time to make memories and feel close as a community. Candlemas Day in Mexico is more than just a religious day; it’s a chance to celebrate life and love with everyone around you.

Informative Video

Candlemas Day in Mexico City

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