At this time of the year it is impossible to walk down the street without finding a precioous Poinsettia at every step (better known worldwide as the ‘Easter Flowers’). And the fact is that their strong reddish, white or pink colour and the great tradition that bring along make them an undeniable element of theis Christmas. But… do you really know how they became the favorite plants for Christmas? To this day has come a nice legend that explains it, although it is quite away from reality.
According to what the myth says, during the holidays some Mexican children attended, as it was tradition, the nativity scene of the city to offer a gift to baby Jesus. However, as they had no resources they decided to take one of these flowers from a garden to give him. When they arrived to the church, God was absolutely touched by the gesture and decided to dye the plant red, giving it the importance it deserved.
However, the real story of why this flower is so famous in Christmas is quite different. Specifically, it was the XVI century when a Franciscan friar of Taxco de Alarcón (in Mexico) began to decorate his church with these plants because of their colour. Hence they are related to these cold festivities and are used in the nativity scenes. This practice would be gradually popularized between 1521 and 1821.
However, who finished disclosing the Poinsettia was Joel Roberts Poinsett, the Ambassador of the United States in Mexico who, during his years in office (four, between 1825 and 1829) brought several cuttings to his country, making it popular in American lands. It became so famous that the 12 December of 1991 they established the ‘Poinsettia Day’ in these lands as a tribute to the death of this botanist.