Purification and Renewal 

Candlemas is associated with many acts of purification. The following are well known traditional acts of purification and renewal.
  • Removing Yuletide greens from home & burning them (Celtic)
  • Cleaning up fields and home (old Roman, Februa "to cleanse" month)
  • Mary purification festival (Christian, Western church)
  • Burning old Brigid's wheels and making new ones (some parts of Ireland)
  • Placing Brigid's wheel above/on door to bless home (Celtic, Wiccan)
Have you ever given anything up for Lent? If not, you might consider it. You donít have to be Catholic to gain spiritual benefits from the voluntary surrender of something you cherish. You can give up something frivolous or something serious, but it should be something you will notice. Folk wisdom says it takes six weeks (or approximately the 40 days of Lent) to establish a new habit, so you may end up with a lifestyle change.

The kids in our neighborhood have eagerly embraced the idea of giving up something for Lent. We know one little girl who gave up TV for Lent and another who gave up catsup, her favorite food. In the last two years, I've given up alcohol and coffee for Lent. Forty days is enough time to notice the difference in the way you feel without a favorite substance or distraction.

Since Candlemas is often considered the beginning of spring, you can perform another ritual act of purification: spring cleaning. This would be a good time to do a thorough house cleaning, sweeping the floors with salt water, banishing the gloom of winter and creating a sparkling, shiny new setting for spring.

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