February 2. Las Candelas

Five girls from the village enter the church, singing and dressed in regional costumes, and make offerings to the Virgin: two doves and a “rosca de piñonate”, a typical sweet of the village.

Its origin dates back to Pope Gelasius, in 496, who instituted the feast of the Purification of the Virgin, assimilating Roman and other previous celebrations in which fertility was worshipped.

Dressed in the typical regional costume, they are called “purificadas”. Each of them carries a distinctive sign: the first one carries a tambourine that she plays rhythmically and with which she accompanies the song performed by her and her four companions in the offering.


For this there are ritual couplets in honor of the Virgin. The remaining four go in pairs: the first pair carries doves and the second carries the traditional donut of the Virgin Deleitosa.
The girls who carry the doves, to the song of the song made for this purpose, release them to flutter freely around the temple. We believe that this is the couplet alluded to: “Present these doves, which is the customary offering, which in the great Law of Moses all the poor women bore”. The girls who carry the roscas of the Virgin also present them to the image and temporarily leave them on the altar. At the end of the mass, they are raffled among the attendees; all local families must participate in this raffle.

The couplets of the Virgin, of 29 stanzas, allude to Mary’s purity and humility, to the mystery of purification, to her sorrows, to the prerogatives she has in heaven. The last 5 couplets are petitions to the Virgin for the intentions of the parish priest, the stewards, the government, for those attending the festivity and for the “purified ones”.