Today, 2nd February, is [b]Candlemas[/b]. Even though we've already found ourselves in Septuagesima ('Pre-Lent'), we are still able today to celebrate the final day of the 40-day Christmas season.
[i](from 'My Book of the Church's Year', Enid Chadwick)[/i]
The day commemorates not only the obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Mosaic law in going to Jerusalem forty days after the birth of her child, and making the usual offerings in the Temple (Luke tells us, 2 turtle doves), but also the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, and the meeting of the infant Jesus with the old man Simeon.
Traditionally, Candlemas (including for very many non-Catholics) is one of the most picturesque in the Christian year, with the blessing and distribution of candles, to be carried lit in procession, and then kept at home during the year (lit, perhaps, at important or desperate moments). Sadly, even in the beautiful snow today here in my corner of England, I doubt this year there will be much in the way of processions...
We can celebrate, all the same "a light, to lighten the Gentiles."