Mexican Christmas Flower: The Origins Of The Popular Poinsettia! | Kidadl


Mexican Christmas Flower: The Origins Of The Popular Poinsettia!

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Poinsettia grows in tropical dry forests that also experience high deforestation, causing habitat loss.

The most economically vital potted plants in the world are Poinsettia plants. More than 100 varieties of the poinsettia are cultivated in the United States.

Christmas in Mexico City starts from December 12 and lasts until January 6, with a further celebration on February 2. Some traditional decorations used in Mexico include poinsettias, nativity scenes, and Christmas evergreen trees. Mexico's holiday season starts with celebrations associated with the Patroness of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe, then Pastorelas and Las Posadas. A mass and feast take place on Christmas eve. They celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men on January 6 with a display of images of baby Jesus at churches and Candlemas. Both Mexico's colonial era and pre-Hispanic era influenced Christmas traditions in Mexico, including Spanish and indigenous customs. The United States and Germany also influenced these customs. The nativity scene is left on show until February 2. Mexicans were introduced to nativity scenes in the early colonial period when indigenous people were taught to carve figurines by Mexican monks.

If you enjoy reading these facts about the Mexican Christmas flower, then make sure to read some more interesting facts about the 1985 Earthquake in Mexico and Christmas in Mexico here at Kidadl.

What is a Christmas flower in Mexico?

The Christmas flower, also called the poinsettia flower and the poinsettia plant, is native to southern Mexico and Central America.

The poinsettia flower, or Euphorbia pulcherrima, is a plant of the spurge family and is commercially important. In 1834, Europeans first described the poinsettia. It has red and green foliage and is used for floral display during the Christmas season. The term poinsettia is derived from Joel Roberts Poinsett. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States minister to Mexico and a botanist, had his own plantation with few greenhouses in South Carolina. He was very interested in these bright red flowers, and he sent some back to his plantation in South Carolina. These flowers were called Cuetlaxochitl by ancient Aztecs who cultivated these plants for their medicinal properties. National poinsettia day is celebrated on December 12 in the United States. Poinsettia flowers became a popular decoration during Christmas time. The leaves measure up to 2.8-6.3 in (7-16 cm), and the plant can reach 2-13 ft (0.6-4 m) in height. The plants need a lot of light in the day to develop their bright colors. However, they also need the right amount of darkness. The flowers are small.

The Long And Strange Tale Of Poinsettia

The tale of poinsettia started hundreds of years ago in the 14th century.

Poinsettia flowers are bright red flowers that were widely grown in botanical gardens in the Aztec era. Poinsettias were also used to make purple and red dye. It was only in the 17th century that these flowers were used as decorations in Mexican Christmas. It was also the time when the Mexican legend of the flowers of holy night and Pepita started, which tied these plants to Christmas folklore and made them decorations for winter holidays. The story started when Pepita, a young girl, was visiting a nativity scene. However, she did not have enough money to get a gift for baby Jesus Christ at the Christmas eve services, so she made a bouquet using roadside weeds. She was upset because she could not offer more; however, her cousin reminded her that any gift given with love is accepted by God. She presented the bouquet of weeds to the baby Jesus in the nativity scene. This bouquet of weeds magically turned into vibrant red flowers that were called Cuetlaxochitl by the locals.

Poinsettia plants are grown during Easter rather than in the Christmas season in Spain as they hold similar significance to their culture.

Meaning And Symbolism Of Poinsettias

The meaning and symbolism of Poinsettias include good wishes, love, purity, and joy.

The bright color of the poinsettia became a sign of purity for many people. Poinsettia flowers were sacred to the Aztecs, and they drank the nectar, believing that it could give immortality to humans. These flowers also represent the new lives of all the warriors who lost their lives in battle. Poinsettia flowers represent cheer as they are called the Easter flower or Flor de Pascua in Spain and the Crown of the Andes in Peru. As Joel Poinsett shared these flowers with his friends and family when he discovered them, many people feel that they represent good wishes. These flowers have star shapes for which they are considered the Star of Bethlehem in some cultures, with the red color representing the crucifixion. They are also called the Flower of Holy Night, which is a reference to Christmas eve.

These flowers were used to treat fevers, and they are even turned into medicine today. They are also used to relieve pain and skin disorders. This plant is also used in many Christian rituals in churches. You can use these flowers to make attractive bouquets and gift them to friends during the holiday season.

Are poinsettias poisonous?

Poinsettias have mild toxicity with slight discomfort.

It was previously believed that poinsettias were poisonous, but it is not true. This plant can only cause some discomfort. People who are allergic to latex are sensitive to poinsettia plants too. Both poinsettias and latex share many proteins. Also, people who are allergic to passion fruits, bananas, avocados, and kiwis are at risk of an allergic reaction if they come in contact with this flower. So, if they do come in contact with it, they must be given immediate medical attention. If poinsettia plant sap gets into your eyes, then it will cause irritation, and your eyes will turn red. If any poinsettia plant sap comes into contact with your skin, it can cause skin rashes. If you do come in contact with the sap, then make sure to wash the area with water and soap. If itching persists, you can use a cold compress. If any part of this plant is eaten, then it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or stomachache. If you do eat this plant, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestion for the 'Mexican Christmas flower', then why not take a look at 'Fun facts about Mexico' or 'Are burritos Mexican'?

If someone on our team is always keen to learn and grow, then it has to be Arpitha. She realized that starting early would help her gain an edge in her career, so she applied for internship and training programs before graduation. By the time she completed her B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020, she had already gained much practical knowledge and experience. Arpitha learned about Aero Structure Design, Product Design, Smart Materials, Wing Design, UAV Drone Design, and Development while working with some leading companies in Bangalore. She has also been a part of some notable projects, including Design, Analysis, and Fabrication of Morphing Wing, where she worked on new age morphing technology and used the concept of corrugated structures to develop high-performance aircraft, and Study on Shape Memory Alloys and Crack Analysis Using Abaqus XFEM that focused on 2-D and 3-D crack propagation analysis using Abaqus.

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