Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Eve in Old Town~ Luminarias

I love going home for Christmas. New Mexico has many wonderful cultural traditions. One of my favorite is Luminarias on Christmas Eve. Old Town and many of it's neighborhoods become the center of a famous walking a bus tour. Luminarias and Christmas trees are put out and there are vendors with hot chocolate, tamales, and sopapillas. Here is a little history about luminarias and some pictures.The oldest church in Albuquerque. Built in the 1700's.

Nana, Papa, Boston and Jess. It's so cold. It snowed a couple of days before we got there.

Boston kept trying to blow out the candles, with no luck.

In the 1800’s luminarias were small bonfires built along the roadside to commemorate Christ’s birth. They were used to guide people to Midnight Mass on the final night of LAS POSADAS, “lodging or inn”.

Later people used farolitos, small paper bags with sand in the bottom and a small candle inside to light the bag. This was a substitute for the more dangerous bonfires. Children in the southwest, reenacting the night of Las Posadas often carried the farolitos in their hands. Today they are used to line walkways, driveways and roof tops.

The night of Las Posadas is a festive celebration first introduced to the Mexican Indians by European missionaries reenacting the story of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging in Bethlehem in a series of NOVENA, “nine days”, beginning December 16th.

Each night a group of carolers would go from house to house, carrying small lanterns made of a paper bag with a lit candle inside (farolitos). The carolers would sing a song pleading for food and shelter. Some homes would turn them away, but others would invite them in and offer food – posole, red and green chili stews, Christmas Eve tamales, biscoshitos, etc.


Tasha said...

Thanks for the insight! Man, I get goosebumps just looking at you guys freezing out there!
Hey you look 'hot' in the last pic(of course,you always look hot)

Ann Marie said...

These lights are absolutely gorgeous!!!!