Have you ever wondered how the Poinsettia became the Christmas flower? I have, so I thought that would be a good subject for my Traditions post this month.
There is an old Mexican legend about how the Poinsettia plant got associated with Christmas. A poor Mexican girl named Pepita had no present to give to the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Service. Her cousin trying to cheer her up said that any gift, even a small one given with love will make Jesus happy.
She picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a small bouquet. She placed the small bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene and suddenly the weeds burst into bright flowers. From that moment on, the red flowers were known as the "Flores de Noche Buena", or "Flowers of the Holy Night."
The Poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought of as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem due to their shape. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ, while the white leaves represent his purity.
Each month as I write these Traditions, I am amazed at the stories I find. I figured that the color RED had something to do with the Christmas Holiday, but never realized the religious connection this beautiful flower has to Christmas.
I hope you are equally amazed and enjoyed the story.
Unknown. (Unknown). Poinsettias at Christmas. Available: http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/poinsettia.shtml. Last accessed 08/21/2015.
Reprinted with permission from