Every time I research the culture of México, I discover its widespread influence across the globe—from its cuisine and rich traditions, to the distinctive flowers like Cempasuchil (marigold) and the Nochebuena 'Good Night', known here in the US as Poinsettias.

Poinsettias, with their red leafs and yellow flower, have evolved into a Christmas symbol and hold immense commercial significance worldwide. Originally identified as Cuetlaxochitl "kwet-lah-shoh-cheel", which blossom in December in western Mexico, were cultivated by the Aztecs for dyeing clothing and cosmetics.

The connection to Christmas started in the 16th century when missionaries used them in Nativity scenes. The story of a poor girl named Pepita, who gathered a simple bouquet of roadside flowers as a gift to the newborn Jesus on Christmas Eve, helped spread the word about the plant being the "Christmas Eve flower" or the "Nochebuena".

In 1828, Joel Roberts Poinsett brought the Cuetlaxochitl to the United States, and successfully grew it in South Carolina. The plant got named Poinsettia in his honor.

Wether you call it Poinsettia, Nochebuena, or as the new found name I discovered upon research for this blog, Cuetlaxochitl; it is a beautiful flower that represents the spirit of the Christmas festivities.

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