The History of the Luminary

Down through the ages, light from fire has served as a destination beacon for weary travelers. Two thousand years ago shepherds marked the way to the manger of the Christ Child with small bonfires. For centuries, to symbolize this tradition, the people of Mexico have gathered on Christmas Eve to light large bonfires in the village commons, to pray, sing and welcome the Christ Child. After the celebration, smaller bonfires were built in front of each home to welcome the Baby Jesus. During the 19th century in northern New Mexico, these bonfires were made from criss-crossed pinġn sticks to light the path to their homes. Early in the 20th century, one family had been unable to adequately prepare the traditional home bonfire because of illness in their family. As the holiday season drew near, the youngest child placed a broken candle in a paper bag partially filled with sand, and placed it outside their home to keep the tradition and welcoming spirit alive. These "little lights" or farolitos have become one of the most popular ways for people to extend this custom to the present day.

Today, as we use luminaries for many occasions, we can bring together traditions of the past and the convenience of the present. With SIMPLY LUMINARIES, you too may continue this age-old custom in any type of weather in a safer, easier, and more environmentally friendly way.