Candlemas

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From candle +‎ -mas, following the tradition that the candles to be used in church during the following year are blessed on this day

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Noun[edit]

Candlemas ‎(plural Candlemases)

  1. The festival in the Christian year that commemorates the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.
    • 1750, W[illiam] Ellis, The Country Housewife's Family Companion: Or Profitable Directions for Whatever Relates to the Management and Good Œconomy of the Domestick Concerns of a Country Life, According to the Present Practice of the Country Gentleman's, the Yeoman's, the Farmer's, &c. Wives, in the Counties of Hertford, Bucks, and Other Parts of England: Shewing how Great Savings may be Made in Housekeeping: [...] With Variety of Curious Matters [...] The Whole Founded on Near Thirty Years Experience, London: Printed for James Hodges, at the Looking-glass, facing St. Magnus Church, London-Bridge; and B. Collins, bookseller, at Salisbury, OCLC 837728611, page 157:
      To make Capons [] [S]ome for this Purpoſe make it their Buſineſs after Harveſt-time to go to Markets for buying up Chickens, and between Michaelmas and All-hollantide caponize the Cocks, when they have got large enough to have Stones [i.e., testes] of ſuch a Bigneſs that they may be pulled out; for if they are too little, it can't be done; [] [M]aking a Cut here big enough to put her Finger in, which ſhe thruſts under the Guts, and with it rakes or tears out the Stone that lies neareſt to it. This done, ſhe performs the very ſame Operation on the other Side of the Cock's Body, and there takes out the other Stone; then ſhe ſtitches up the Wounds, and lets the Fowl go about as at other Times, till the Capon is fatted in a Coup, which is commonly done from Chriſtmas to Candlemas, and after.
  2. A quarter day in Scotland.

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