The Purification of the Virgin occurs on February 2nd, which coincides with the Februation, or purification, of the people in pagan Rome. The term candlemas derives from the blessing of the candles which occurs on this day.
Scott uses Candlemas as a time reference in, among other works, "Old Mortality":
"For," said Harrison to himself, "the carles have little eneugh gear at
ony rate, and if I call in the red-coats and take away what little they
have, how is my worshipful lady to get her rents paid at Candlemas, which
is but a difficult matter to bring round even in the best of times?"