RELIGION

Candlemas 2014: Mexican Catholics Observe Día De La Candelaria (PHOTOS)

02/03/2014 01:53 pm ET

Candlemas, also known as Presentation of the Lord, or Presentation of Christ in the Temple, is celebrated in Mexico as Día De La Candelaria. The holiday commemorates Mary's visit to the Temple in Jerusalem 40 days after the birth of Christ. In accordance with Jewish law, she went there to be purified and to present Jesus to God as her firstborn.

In Mexico, the holiday fuses native traditions with the Catholic celebration. See photos here:

  • AP
  • Jose Galvan restores a statue of baby Jesus for a client inside his stand outside a market in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Catholics in Mexico are preparing to celebrate the feast day of the Virgin of the Candelaria on Sunday by dressing up statues of baby Jesus and bringing them to their local church to be blessed. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • Gabriela Galvan restores a statue of baby Jesus for a client inside her stand outside a market in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • Jose Galvan restores a statue of baby Jesus for a client inside his stand outside a market in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • Jose Galvan, top right, and his daughter Gabriela restore statues of baby Jesus for clients at their stand outside a market in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • Father Jose Juan celebrates Mass at San Miguel Arcangel church marking the Dia de Candelaria, or Day of Candlemas, in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. According to Christian tradition, Candlemas marks Mary and Joseph's presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. Candlemas is observed 40 days after Christmas, on Feb. 2, commemorating Mary's ritual purification after her childbirth. Catholics in Mexico celebrate the feast day by dressing their baby Jesus figurines and bringing them to their local church to be blessed. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • Father Juan Jose sprinkles holy water on statues of baby Jesus tucked in a basket, at the San Miguel Arcangel church, marking the Dia de Candelaria, or Day of Candlemas, in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • In this Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 photo, statues of baby Jesus outfitted in different costumes are displayed for sale outside a market in preparation for the Dia de Candelaria, or Day of Candlemas, in Mexico City. According to Christian tradition, Candlemas marks Mary and Joseph's presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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  • A parishioner holds her trio of baby Jesus statues inside the San Miguel Arcangel marking the Dia de Candelaria, or Day of Candlemas, in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • A figure of baby Jesus dressed as an angel is held by its owner at a stand that sells clothes for baby Jesus dolls in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • AP
  • A figure of baby Jesus dressed in Indian attire sits for sale at a stand outside a market in Mexico City, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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