Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy National Poinsettia Day!

Did you know that the poinsettia has a special day all its own?
By an Act of Congress, December 12 was set aside as National Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is credited with introducing the native Mexican plant to the United States. The purpose of the day is to enjoy the beauty of this popular holiday plant.

Mexican folktale tells how a poor Mexican girl, with no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve services, gathered some plants (poinsettias) into a bouquet on her way to church. She approached the altar with love and reverence and the bouquet turned into brilliant red blossoms. The flowers are known as the Flores de la Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, and bloom each year during the Christmas season.

Another version says:
It is said that a poor young peasant girl in Mexico on her way to celebrate Christmas at church followed scores of people carrying brilliant gifts to honor baby Jesus, but suddenly felt embarrassed because she had no gift to give.The little girl so desperately wanted to give something of great value and when she could think of nothing, she began to cry.Some people say that a friend of the little girl saw her crying and went over to console her. The little girl confessed that she had nothing to give and her friend told her that any gift from the heart would surely be appreciated.Others say that an angel appeared and told the young girl to pick a bouquet of weeds from the roadside.Either way, the girl picked a handful of weeds from the roadside and continued to church. At church people lined up to place extravagant gifts at the foot of the nativity scene. People looked at the little girl in disbelief as she placed her weeds near the manger.Suddenly the weeds transformed into beautiful red flowers, and everyone who witnessed the gift swore they had witnessed none other than a Christmas miracle.

And still another version says that the petals turned brilliant red as each of her tears landed on them.

Any way it's told, it is still a good story.


Flighty said...

I've seen several over the festive period and each time have thought of this post!
I hope that you had an enjoyable time over Christmas.
Happy New Year! xx

Tina said...

Hiya Flighty!
Awww, that's nice.
They are a fab plant, if even just for the foliage in the summer.
Hope your holidays were fab!