The Legend of
Maria did not have a gift for the Baby Jesus. All she could find was a
handful of weeds...but, because she gave from her heart, the weeds turned
into beautiful red flowers. This is the story of the Poinsettia, the
The Legend of the
– a story based
on the Mexican legend of a pure hearted young girl who discovers the
true spirit of giving. Unable to offer a gift of material value, she
picks a handful of weeds that magically transform into brilliant crimson
flowers and thus the custom of giving poinsettias during the holidays is
The Latin Ballet’s production of
The Legend of the Poinsettia elegantly portrays the
Hispanic traditions of the season. Dances and music demonstrate cultural
celebrations with aguinaldos, gaitas, rumbas and plenas.
The spiritual reverence of the season is combined with the joy and
laughter of the traditional festivities of dance
Artistic Director: Ana Ines King
Little Maria did not have a gift for the Baby Jesus. All
she could find was a handful of weeds...but, because she gave from her
heart, the weeds turned into beautiful red flowers. This is the story of
the Poinsettia, the Christmas plant.
La Noche de las Velitas
- December 7
It is a tradition in every Latin American country to
light candles on the night of December 7th to
provide light for the journey of The Three Kings and to
thank the Virgin Mary for what they have in life.
Representing the Holy Pilgrims, Maria and Jose’s journey
La Casita de Maria
To glorify Christmas and celebrate the birth of the Baby
Jesus, everyone takes part in decorating the village church and the
The idea of commemorating the Holy Family’s journey to
Bethlehem can be traced to St. Ignatius Loyola in the 16th
century. He suggested a Christmas novena, or special prayers, to be said
on nine successive days. In 1580, St. John of the Cross made a religious
pageant out of the proceedings, and seven years later the nine-day
remembrance was introduced to the natives by Spanish missionaries.
Solemn and deeply religious at first, the observances soon became imbued
with the spirit of fun and eventually left the church and began to be
celebrated in people’s homes.
A la Virgen Maria (To the Virgin Mary)
It is a tradition to thank
The Virgin Mary for their love and blessings. As part of this tradition,
Maria’s parents visit the Virgin Mary, thanking her for the blessings of
good health that healed Maria’s mom, who was very ill.
Christmas is a very
festive time in Spain. Many oil lamps are lit in every
house, and after Midnight, streets fill with dancers and onlookers. The
children of Spain receive gifts on the feast of the Epiphany. The Magi
are particularly revered in Spain. It is believed that they travel
through the countryside reenacting their journey to Bethlehem every year
at this time. Children leave their shoes on the windowsills and fill
them with straw, carrots, and barley for the horses of the Wise Men. By
morning the camel food is gone and in place of the straw or barley are
Bachata was originated in
the Dominican Republic. It is a mixture of rhythmic bolero and son (both
styles from Cuba). Bachata means “party”. It is a way of life, a
reflection of a culture that likes to have a good time at all times.
Over the terraces, gardens, and even on the streets of Santo Domingo,
this kind of popular festivity is carried out with or without music,
just to the fact of having fun!
La Navidad en Colombia (Christmas in Colombia)
Christmas in Colombia is a
very especial time that brings joy and love to the families that
practice the traditions engraved in their culture. In Colombia there is
always an excuse to party with your family and friends. Christmas in
Colombia is a religious event mixed with lots of “parranda” or fiesta.
On the 31st of December they say good bye to the Old Year and welcome
the New Year with more fiestas and “parrandas”. Christmas in Colombia
follows many traditions or “agüeros” to bring on good fortune in the new
year, for example, if they want to travel, they walk around the block
with big suitcases, they eat 12 grapes during the final 12 seconds of
the old year for good wishes, they wear something yellow for good luck,
they clean the houses very well to take out all the bad energies, they
do “saumerios” or cleansings of the homes with eucalyptus leaves.
“Gaitas” in Venezuela
The "Gaitas" that are prominent during the Christmas season in Venezuela
generate great excitement in the people. Gaitas are festive songs of
Hispanic origin, combined with the African culture. When people talk
about the "gaitero" rhythm, they are referring to the continuous
amusement and enthusiasm that permeates the entire Christmas and New
Years season. Gaitas are one of the most familiar expressions of the
national folklore, since it invades the media, shopping centers and
party halls in Venezuela.
A very distinctive Holiday
tradition in Venezuela is that every Christmas day, parents take their
children skating in the public plazas (squares) and parks until the wee
hours of the morning.
The Wool Blanket
Maria wanted to make a very special gift for Little
Jesus.She had helped her mama before with the loom, so she tried on her
own to weave a colorful blanket but the threads of yarn became an
Los Tres Reyes Magos y la Estrella del Oriente
- January 6th - The Feast of the Epiphany
Please, don’t put the Christmas tree away yet! Some of us
are still celebrating! The 6th of January is Three King’s
Day or Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos. Strongly celebrated throughout
Latin America, the day marks the Epiphany or 12th day of Christmas. The
Legend tells of the three Wise Men traveling to bring gifts to the
infant Jesus, following the North Star on their way to Bethlehem.
Any gift is beautiful because it is given
Scared Maria, not having any gift for the Baby Jesus,
learns from el Espiritu de la Poinsettia that love is what makes any
The bundle of green weeds
Unable to offer a gift of material value to the Baby
Jesus on Epiphany Day, she picks a handful of weeds outside the church.
Magically, the weeds transform into beautiful crimson flowers.
“Lo que das con tu corazon,
Es recibido con amor”
“Anything you give with your heart is love,
Love is the true spirit of giving”
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