Monday, December 12, 2011

Taos A to Z Excerpt: Farolito (or Luminaria)

The first luminarias in North America were bonfires of crisscrossed pinon boughs arranged in 3-foot high squares. The Pueblo Indians in New Mexico have long made these small fires outside their homes to light their way to church on Christmas Eve. Later luminarias were small paper lanterns made from colored paper brought to this continent from the Orient. Instead of hanging these delicate lanterns from trees or on wires, they were placed on the ground, on rooftops and along pathways. Today, the word farolito is used in Northern New Mexico, while luminaria is used in Central and Southern New Mexico. Contemporary farolitos are small brown paper bags, filled with an inch of sand that supports a candle. At Christmas time, New Mexico streets and rooftops are lined with these festive lights. ~Aimee

Read more about Taos, Santa Fe, and Northern New Mexico on Taos A to Z

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