Christmas Luminaria Cemetery Tradition

Dec 24, 2010 | 0 comments

Christmas Luminarias

This Christmas Eve, I stopped in the Mount Calvary Cemetery, a Catholic cemetery, to take in the sight of thousands of luminarias decorating the graves. It’s a ritual that brings light in the darkness to those who sleep in the dust.

Luminarias are simply brown paper bags with sand or gravel in the bottom and a single votive candle casting light on the inside of the bag. They are a magical Christmas Eve sight in New Mexico neighborhoods as well as in the cemeteries.

Families visit the graves of their loved ones on Christmas Eve, and the cemetery was busy with people coming and going in the dark among a sea of glowing paper bags. Some families added small Christmas trees with lights and other holiday decorations.

It was heartening to see so many people visiting the graves of loved ones on a holiday that’s all about love and giving. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.

A Good Goodbye