Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas celebrations

We began our Christmas celebrations on Christmas Eve with a walk along Canyon Road.

People use luminarias or farolitos to decorate the path to their door as well as outlining the roofline of their home with these warm inviting lights. People in Albuquerque tend to call the paper bag lanterns, luminarias, but natives from Santa Fe insist the correct term is farolitos. Historically, a true luminaria is a series of small bonfires lining the roads but the terms are used interchangeably.
These lights have their roots in the 1800's. Small bonfires, like the current day bonfires on the corners of Canyon Road in Santa Fe, were used to guide people to Christmas Mass. Quite often they were set out during the final night of Las Posadas, the symbolic representation of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem walking from home to home before Jesus was born. In later days, children carried small farolitos as they reenacted Las Posadas.

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