The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church. The two children loved Christmas but were sad because they didn’t have any money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus.
But they had nothing.
One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church. On their way, they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course they were teased by other children, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals. Soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today.
From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season.
And with that, the legend of the poinsettia was born!