Delicacies and Fellowship: The Work Experience on Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas Day) in México

As February approaches, it’s time to delve into a unique Mexican tradition that adds a touch of joy to the workplace: Día de la Candelaria.

Día de la Candelaria, celebrated on February 2, has its roots in the Catholic tradition commemorating the presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary, forty days after the birth of Jesus. It follows the celebration of Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day on January 6.

In Mexico, the celebration of Candelaria blends pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences. One prominent tradition is the “rosca de reyes,” a circular bread adorned with crystallized fruits and containing a small figurine symbolizing the Baby Jesus. During the celebration, people gather to share the rosca, and those who find the figurine become the godparents of the Baby Jesus, responsible for organizing the CDía de la Candelaria celebration with tamales and atole to drink (Tamales and atole are emblematic of celebrations and festivities in Mexico, with their preparation varying by region).

Is it a Legal Holiday?

Based on Article 74 of the Mexican Federal Labor Law, February 2 is not a mandatory public holiday throughout Mexico; therefore, payment is handled normally, considering that the company is not obligated to provide any compensation or adjustment. However, many companies choose to allow their employees to enjoy this cultural tradition, offering flexibility in schedules or even declaring it a day off in some cases.

How Do Mexican Companies Embrace the Tradition?

In Mexican workplaces, Día de la Candelaria is more than a delicious culinary tradition; it’s an opportunity to strengthen team bonds. Many companies organize gatherings or “tamaladas,” where employees come together to share homemade or purchased tamales. Participating in Candlemas celebrations fosters camaraderie and strengthens work relationships. Sharing a meal, exchanging stories, and enjoying the delicious variety of tamales creates a sense of unity among colleagues.

Inclusive and Vibrant Environment For our foreign friends, embracing Día de la Candelaria at work provides a unique insight into Mexican culture. Don’t be surprised if your colleagues enthusiastically invite you to join the tamale feast; it’s a gesture of inclusion and sharing joy. On some occasions, people dress the figure of the Baby Jesus in special outfits. If you participate in events involving this tradition, consider dressing accordingly and respecting local customs. Since Día de la Candelaria has religious roots, be respectful of the beliefs and practices of those who celebrate the festivity from a more religious perspective. If you’re new to Candelaria celebrations, consider bringing a bundle of tamales to share. It’s a fantastic way to break the ice and be part of the festive work atmosphere.

Día de la Candelaria in Mexican companies is more than a culinary delight; it’s a cultural celebration that brings people together. Embrace the joy, participate in the festivities, and savor the unique flavors that make work relationships in Mexico truly special.

“On Candelaria, we remember that light always prevails over darkness.”

– Anonymous –

#ForeignerWorkMX #DiadelaCandelaria #CandlemasDay #MexicanWorkCulture #OfficeTraditions

Roger Mariano

Roger Mariano

Deputy General Manager, Manager, Consultant, Professor, lecturer, with over 20 years of experience in key roles in the Human Resources field, often serving as a change agent in both National and Multinational Companies. I aim to support my national and international colleagues, as well as anyone interested in learning about my experience in human resources management in Mexico.

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