February 2, in Serro, a hamlet of Villafranca Tirrena, near Messina, people celebrate the patron “Maria SS. della Candelora ( Candlemas). It’s a heart-felt dat by the parishian, it’s a feast of ancient traditions and every year attracts many devotees. You can enjoy your stay in one of the best Capo d’Orlando Villas to go to visit the surroundings and participate to the Candlemas Feast in Serro.
The believers bring the candles to bless during the Mass, and they keep for light them when they need. In the day of the party, or during the following Sunday, the statue of the patron is carried in procession through the streets of the village. The Candlemas, through the ritual of lighting and blessins candles, recalls the rite of purification and also, according to popular tradition, marks the end of winter. An ancient proverb says: ” Alla Candelora dell’inverno semo fora ma, se piove o tira vento, dell’inverno semo dentro“ , it means that at the arrival of Candlemas, winter is over, but if the weather is bad in that day , winter isn’t over.
In many Italian regions Candlemas is still commemorated through the live performance of the scene of the Virgin with Jesus and San Simeon. The feast of Candlemas is linked to the tradition of the blessed candles: these candles are kept in the homes to keep away evil influences.
Candlemas, recalls the rite of purification followed by the Virgin Mary after that She gave birth to Jesus Christ, in accordance with the Mosaic law. In Leviticus, it is in fact prescribed that every mother, who had given birth to a male child, would be considered unclean for seven days, and in following thirty-three days, she should not have participated in any form of worship. The commemoration of the cleansing ritual, performed by the Virgin Mary, from the Near East went to Rome, and, as early as the eighth century A.D., the party had reached an imposing solemnity. In Rome, inside the Basilica, there were some candles placed on the altar, with a red silk ribbon and silver, and with the papal coat of arms. On that occasion, the Pope started to bless the candles.