Candlemas is a traditional Christian festival held in honor of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem in accordance with Mosaic Law (Leviticus 12:6,7). When Jesus was presented, Simeon took him in his arms and called him "a light to lighten the gentiles" (Luke 2:32). Traditionally, churches would host a procession of communicants holding candles in commemoration of Christ as the Light of the World.
According to an old bit of folklore, “If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight; But if it be dark with clouds and rain, Winter is gone, and will not come again." And thus interestingly, some scholars believe Candlemas is the original source of the idea behind Groundhog Day.