Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Cactus or Poinsettia???

Which one will it be this year? I think I am on the side of the Poinsettia.

It has such history. According to Wikipedia, the plant's association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson "blossoms" sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.

From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus.

Today it is known in Mexico and Guatemala as "Noche Buena", meaning Christmas Eve. In Spain it is known as "Flor de Pascua", meaning Easter Flower. In both Chile and Peru, the plant became known as "Crown of the Andes".

There is nothing like a perfectly placed party of Poinsettias! (This is at St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC!)

Now, which color? There are many options. But as many of you know...Red is my color!

Merry Christmas,


Annanas said...

Funny, in greek it is known as "tongue of mother-in-law" :P

Unknown said...

Hard to beat a really gorgeous point at Christmas. Love the pix!