E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary, when Christ was presented by her in the Temple. February 2nd, when, in the Roman Catholic Church, there is a candle procession, to consecrate all the candles which will be needed in the church during the year. The candles symbolise Jesus Christ, called the light of the world, and a light to lighten the Gentiles. It was the old Roman custom of burning candles to the goddess Februa, mother of Mars, to scare away evil spirits.