If it feels like Christmas time goes well into the New Year here in Mexico…it does! Celebrations aren't officially over until after February 2, a day in English known as Candlemas. On this day, a party is held to mark the 40th day after the birth of Jesus, the day in which he would have been taken to the Jewish temple as a baby. Tamales are brought by the person(s) who "found" the baby Jesus in the Rosca de Reyes on Three Kings Day (see January). Traditionally, the Baby Jesus is given new clothes and nativity scenes are put away until the following year. If you are observant, you will see some very fancily dressed Baby Jesus' being carried to church to receive a blessing on this day.
Candelaria also marks the beginning of Spring and is the name given to the giant plant sale held annually in Parque Juarez. For several weeks following January 28th, during both day and nighttime hours, the park is filled to the brim with every kind of plant imaginable, and a huge assortment of pots are for sale in the basketball courts. It makes for great park strolling and even better garden shopping.