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♥ Why We Love Poinsettia at Christmas ♥

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A staple during the Christmas season is the star shape and vibrant color of the Poinsettia. While many people recognize the holiday plant, few know its real origins and connection to the season.


Symbolism

There are a few proclaimed reasons why Poinsettia is connected to the holidays, Christmas in particular. The star shape of the plant’s flowers are said to represent the Star of Bethlehem, the guiding star that led the three kings the place Christ was born. The colors of the poinsettia are said to represent the red blood of Christ and His white purity. But there are more connections between the annual bloom.


Folklore

A Mexican folktale credits a poor girl named Pepita for the beautiful red flower. Pepita had no gift to present to the baby Jesus for the Christmas Eve services. While walking to the chapel sadly, she inspired her cousin Pedro to cheer her up. He told her ‘I’m sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves Him will make Jesus happy.’

Pepita searched for a gift to give. She picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and formed them into a bouquet. At first she was embarrassed by her gift, but she remembered Pedro’s words. Pepita knelt to put her bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers. Everyone who saw knew they witnessed a miracle. From that day forward, the bright red poinsettia is known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.

While Poinsettia are specifically known for their holiday flair, here a a few little know facts about the festive flower.


Fun Facts

  • National Poinsettia Day is celebrated on Dec. 12, honoring both the plant and the man who brought it to America, Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett.
  • The plant originates from the Mexican countryside.
  • Poinsettia are poisonous to cats, dogs, horses, cows, birds.
  • Poinsettia were first sold as cut flowers. In the early 1900s they began being sold as whole plants for landscaping and pot plants.
  • The Poinsettia is also the national emblem of Madagascar.

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