Poinsettia Day

Celebrated every year on December 12

Poinsettia Day is in Mexico known as Dia de la Virgen which is celebrated with a lot of decorations with poinsettia.
The poinsettia is native to Mexico where it was called Cuetlaxochitl by the Aztecs.  Which translates as “brilliant flower”.
The Mayans called it “k’alul wits” which means “ember flower”.
The poinsettia was used as a red dye for clothing and had several medicinal uses.
The Aztecs associated the plant with purity.
Currently in Mexico the poinsettia is known as “Flor de Noche Buena”,  which means “flower of the holy night”.

Legends goes that the tradition of associating the poinsettia with Christmas began with the story of Pepita.
Pepita was a young girl who was too poor to buy a gift to give to Jesus for his birthday.
This made her really really sad. So sad that an angel took pity on her.
The angel told Pepita to gather a bundle of weeds instead and place them in front of the church altar.
Pepita did as she was told but was still so sad that she cried many tears on the weeds as she placed them between all the pretty gifts that other people gave.
But by miracle every weed that was cried upon turned into a huge bright red flower and all the people admired Pepita’s gift of that wonderful new flower.

The poinsettia got it’s name from Joel Roberts Poinsett who liked the plant so much that he sent samples of the plant to friends and relatives in the US in 1825.
Soon the plant became known by the popular name of poinsettia we know today.

Contrary to popular hoaxes, poinsettias are not deadly to humans.
Eating high doses poinsettia can make you feel sick and induce diarrhea.
Rubbing on the skin or other body parts can be irritating.
The  marketing manager of the Paul Ecke Ranch in Encinitas, Thom David, is the living proof of this.
He has been known to eat several leaves of poinsettia when asked about how deadly poinsettias are. Proving that poinsettias are not lethal, but are also very bitter and will never get popular as a vegetable.
Some pets have been known to eat poinsettia out of curiosity. If in any doubt always call the vet. But if not eaten in large doses they’ll probably just be very very sick for a while and you will have to do a lot of cleaning up after them.

 

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