|Looking into a candlebaggio|
December may be my favorite time in New Mexico. It seems as though the month isn't long enough for all the festivities. This year we started the pre-Christmas celebrations by going to Noche de Luminarias at the New Mexico State University with a group of good friends.
To give you a little background: In northern New Mexico, a luminaria is a little bonfire, lit to welcome and guide the spirit of the Christ Child during the nights leading up to Christmas. Up there around Santa Fe, farolito is the name given to a little paper bag holding sand and a candle; down here in the southern part of the state we call the candle-in-a-bag a luminaria. Our friend, Lou, has simplified the matter by calling them candlebaggios, and many of our friends have adopted the term (see Those Little Whatcha-Call 'Ems).
The local high school band members lit 6500 luminarias all over the NMSU campus, and a back-breaking business it must have been. By the time we arrived, the sun was just going down and we watched and strolled as the sky darkened and the luminarias began to glow.
Inside the student center, there was music and dancing and food. Outside, it was quiet and quite warm for early December. We walked and chatted and took pictures, and eventually made our way along the paths to the duck pond, where the early evening sky and reflecting waters made for some great photo opportunities.
For some really lovely shots, check out our friend Patrick's post on the evening, Noche de Luminarias.