In search of books for our Christmas Learning Basket, I came across The Christmas Path: A Legend of the Luminarias by Sue Wright. I have never heard of luminarias as part of Christmas tradition before, and I was promptly intrigued.
The Tradition According to the book, the lighting of luminarias, or candle lanterns, along walkways during the holiday season is a reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. It was introduced by Spanish missionaries in the New World four hundred years ago.
The Christmas Path is the imagined story of how the tradition began. The innkeeper who let Joseph and Mary use his stable for the night gave them a small lamp to help them on their way. As shepherds and “men dressed as kings” arrived to welcome the newborn, the innkeeper and his family lit the path with lamps and lanterns to guide everyone to the Holy Child.
Simple Luminarias We loved the story right away and were inspired to honor the tradition and to create our own lighted path. We made our own luminarias with:
- brown paper bags
- sand from our sandbox
- votive candles
“For behold, all who follow the path to the stable and find the child named Jesus,