🗓️ December 12
Hello and welcome to Poinsettia Day, the day we honor and appreciate one of the most popular Christmas flowers, the poinsettia.
This bright red plant is not only beautiful but also has a fascinating history and cultural significance.
It’s a majestic plant with a rich history and some toxic rumors.
So, put on your most festive christmas gardening gloves and discover more about this magnificent red and green flora.
Celebrating the “Flower of the Holy Night”
The poinsettia is widely cultivated and used as a decorative plant during the winter holiday season.
It is a perennial shrub with bright red leaves, also known as “bracts,” that surround tiny yellow flowers.
Poinsettias come in various colors, including pink, cream, and white, but the red ones are the most popular.
The poinsettia, scientifically known as Euphorbia pulcherrima, is a tropical plant native to Mexico, where it is called Cuetlaxochitl by the Aztecs, meaning “brilliant flower.”
The Mayans also had a name for it, “k’alul wits”, which means “ember flower”.
It was originally used as a red dye for clothing and had several medicinal uses.
The Aztecs even associated it with purity. Nowadays, in Mexico, it’s known as “Flor de Noche Buena”, which means “flower of the holy night”.
If the poinsettia could have a personality, the poinsettia would be a festive and flamboyant diva.
Always dressed in vibrant red, making a bold statement, and commanding attention wherever they go.
They would enjoy being pampered and adored and would expect nothing but the best treatment from their crew.
The Toxicity of the Poinsettia
It’s true that the poinsettia has a bad reputation for being poisonous, it’s actually not as dangerous as you may think. Ingesting the leaves or sap may cause mild discomfort, but it’s not fatal.
Poinsettias contain a milky sap that can cause mild irritation if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes.
If ingested, it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
However, the toxicity of poinsettias is relatively low, and severe poisoning is rare, it’s always best to keep it out of reach of your furry friends and kids.
If a little companion happens to eat a lot of poinsettia get them medical help.
Better safe than sorry, right?
The Origin of Poinsettia Day
Poinsettia Day is celebrated on December 12th each year and is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Poinsett was an avid botanist who discovered the poinsettia plant in Mexico in the 1820s and brought it back to the United States.
The day is celebrated on December 12, which marks the anniversary of Poinsett’s death.
We honor him by appreciating the beautiful flower he introduced to the U.S.
But the more poetic legend goes like this:
Legend has it that a young girl named Pepita was too poor to afford a gift to give to baby Jesus.
An angel took pity on her and decided to help her out.
With angelic glamor this angel appeared before Pepita and told her to gather a bundle of weeds and place them on 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 – the poinsettia.
This Christmas miracle made the whole town overjoyed with Christmas spirit and since then, the poinsettia has been declared a Christmas flower.
How to Celebrate or Attend Poinsettia Day
Now, onto the fun stuff! How can you celebrate Poinsettia Day?
- Well, first and foremost, get yourself a poinsettia plant and learn how to care for it. The poinsettia needs a warm environment and bright, indirect light, so it’s best to keep it indoors near a window.
- Decorate your home with poinsettia-themed decor.
- Bake some poinsettia-shaped cookies.
- Get creative with the plant by making poinsettia-themed crafts, wreaths, or centerpieces.
- If you’re feeling more social, why not throw a Poinsettia Day party and invite your loved ones to join in on the fun?
- Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures and share them on social media using the appropriate hashtags like #PoinsettiaDay, #FlorDeNocheBuena and #FlowerPower.
Get creative and have fun with it!
Safety tips for Poinsettia Day
As with any event, safety should be a top priority when celebrating Poinsettia Day. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- If you’re allergic to latex, you might want to avoid handling the plant, as it contains a milky sap that can cause skin irritation. If you are unsure and want to avoid any adverse reactions, wear gloves when handling the plant or wash your hands thoroughly after touching it.
- Follow any specific event guidelines: If you’re attending a Poinsettia Day event, make sure to follow any specific safety guidelines or rules that may be in place. This could include things like wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, or avoiding certain activities that may be considered unsafe.
- As always, drink responsibly and stay safe!
- Also, remember to take breaks from sedentary activities and move your body a bit.
- Keep the plant out of reach of children and pets:
While the poinsettia is not as toxic as commonly believed, it can still cause mild stomach upset or skin irritation if ingested. To be on the safe side, keep the plant out of reach of curious children and pets.
- Use caution when handling the plant: Some people may be sensitive to the sap of the poinsettia plant, which can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
We hope this article has inspired you to appreciate and celebrate the beauty of this remarkable flower and to celebrate its unique history and cultural significance.
From its origins as a sacred Aztec symbol of purity to its current association with Christmas and the holiday season, the poinsettia is a fascinating and versatile plant that deserves our attention and admiration.
So go ahead, get creative, and explore all the wonderful ways in which this brilliant flower can brighten up your life, and may your love for this remarkable plant continue to blossom and grow!
And if anyone asks you why you’re celebrating Poinsettia Day, just tell them that Wild Calendar gave you permission to do so. Happy Poinsettia Day!