What is Luminaries

Horace He

Last Updated: December 26, 2023

What is Luminaries

Luminaries refer to a type of lighting fixture or object used for decorative purposes, particularly during the Christmas season. Luminaries typically consist of a small paper bag that contains a light source, often a candle. These illuminated bags create a warm and inviting ambiance, especially when placed along pathways or in outdoor spaces.

The tradition of using luminaries can be traced back to various cultural practices. In some parts of the United States, such as New Mexico, they are known as “farolitos,” which means “little lanterns” in Spanish. Historically, luminaries were used to guide the spirit of the Christ child to people’s homes during Christmas celebrations. However, in modern times, they are primarily seen as decorative lights, similar to Christmas lights.

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Luminaries are popular in different regions and are used in various ways. For example, cities like Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico are known for their elaborate holiday lighting displays, often incorporating farolitos. Additionally, luminaries are often used to light the path during events like the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

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