Of the various Christian holy days that take place throughout the year, Candlemass (or Candelaria), on February 2nd, may be one of the least well-known ceremonies in the Christian world. Evangelical Protestants do not count it as a major observance, while Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches hold it in high esteem.
The celebration of Candlemass originated in the late fifth century as a tribute to the light of God's glory that was manifested in Christ Jesus. The earliest known observance within the Church was in the year AD 496, during the time of Pope Gelasius. In AD 542 the Emperor Justinian ordained that the Eastern Church celebrate the festival, which he called Hypapante, or "Meeting". The name was derived from the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40, wherein Simeon the priest and Anna the prophetess met the infant Jesus in the temple at the time of his consecration. Simeon's prophecy declared Jesus to be the Lord's salvation and "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." This passage continues to be the focus of the celebration.