Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in New Mexico the Second

Every year on Christmas Eve, The Hart Family bundles up and heads to  Albuquerque Old Town to wonder around and look at Luminarias.

A luminaria is simply a brown paper bag filled with sand and a candle and it provides a worm glow at night. 

To make of your own, fold down the top edge of a lunch sized brown paper bag, fill the bag about 3” deep with sand and place a candle in the middle

Luminarias originate from the 1800’s.  Small bonfires were built to guide people to Christmas Mass.  Often they were set out during Las Posadas (the symbolic representation of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem from a number of homes before Jesus was born).

Now luminarias are used to decorate the paths to doors and people also outline the roofline of their homes with the inviting decorations.

These luminarias form the Zia Sun Symbol, New Mexico's insignia. 
To the Zia Indians 4 is the sacred number as it is embodied in the earth (4 main directions), in the year (seasons), in the day, ( sunrise, noon, evening and night), in life,( childhood, youth, manhood and old age).  Everything is bound together in a circle of life and love, without beginning and without end.

Here are a few more of the luminarias I saw last night.

Merry Christmas
~Melisa & Cordelia

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