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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Luminaria...

I thought that today's word was especially appropriate since I am in Texas for Christmas.

There are so many different regional customs across the United States concerning the celebration of Christmas.

It's really neat.

The Word of the Day for December 24 is:

luminaria \loo-muh-NAIR-ee-uh\ noun

: a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a paper bag

Example sentence:
More than one neighborhood in our Texas town is lit by luminarias lining the streets for the annual Christmas Stroll.

Did you know?
"Luminaria" is a fairly recent addition to English; the earliest known use in our language dates from 1949, about the time that the old Mexican Christmas custom was gaining popularity among Anglo-Americans. In some parts of the U.S., particularly New Mexico, these festive lanterns are also called "farolitos," which means "little lanterns" in Spanish. We borrowed "luminaria" from Spanish, but the word has been around with exactly the same spelling since the days of Late Latin. The term ultimately traces to the classical Latin "luminare," meaning "window," and to "lumen," meaning "light." It is related to other light-bearing words such as "luminary," "illuminate," and "phillumenist" (a fancy name for someone who collects matchbooks).

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas Morning tomorrow!

later...

1 Comments:

Blogger Moof said...

That's really nice T.J.! Thanks for sharing that! I've seen pictures of those before, but I never knew what they were called.

We had our celebration last night ... not sure how many people came - I still need to count. This morning, I'm letting everyone "sleep in." We'll open gifts once all the snoozers begin to move around.

Hope your Christmas is WONDERFUL!

December 25, 2005 6:43 AM  

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