Bright, flaming red, star-shaped Poinsettias are known as 'Flower of the Holy Night' or 'Flame Leaf' in the United States. One of the most popular flowers in Central America, it was brought here by Dr. Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico, over a hundred years ago. Still most of the supply of this famous beloved Christmas flower in American cities is said to come from California and the folklore attached to it comes from Mexico. Like Christmas Rose, this flower also represents the deep love for Christ and great devotion of a pure innocent human being to baby Jesus. However, in this instance, the devotees were two beautiful, naïve children who were not so fortunate as their friends to have enough money to do what their heart yearns for.
These poor children from Mexico were known as Maria, the sister and
Pablo, her dear little brother. Just like all the other children in the
village, they were looking forward to the Christmas festival and the
annual Nativity play in which a large manger scene was set up in the
village church. The season was full of parades and parties that were
mainly centered around this church and all the people, especially
children, used to gift presents to the baby child on Christmas Eve. Now,
these two children loved Christ and the season of His birth very much
but do not had any money to buy something for the baby Christ. They
ardently wished to buy something special for the Christ but couldn't
even buy the simplest of things for Him.
They were sad at heart and were quite disheartened by their poverty and
misery when they set out for church to attend the service. They took the
longer route in a vague hope to find dome blossoms to gift the child but
couldn't find any. Finally, they picked up some wild weeds growing along
the roadside as a gift for the Baby, squared their shoulders and
approached the Church door. But how cruel little children can be, when
they start teasing their fellow mates. Yet, Maria and Pablo braved their
way to the manger and placed the greenery carefully around the manger.
What happened next was the biggest surprise for all that were present!
Bright red star-shaped flowers burst froth from the weeds and looked
most sparkling of all gifts that the Christ child had received that day.
The famous Mexican legend of the Poinsettia related to Christmas festivities will bring out the significance of Poinsettias during Christmas season.