Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A votive candle set into a small, decorative paper bag weighted with sand and placed in a row with others along a walkway, driveway, or rooftop as a holiday decoration.
  • noun New Mexico A bonfire built in front of each house in a pueblo to celebrate Christmas Eve.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a vigil fire used in ceremonies, in Native American and Hispanic cultures
  • noun a makeshift lantern used as a holiday decoration, especially in Hispanic culture

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Spanish, from Latin lūmināria, pl. of lūmināre, lamp; see luminary.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Spanish

Examples

  • Then, we went outside to put up luminaria, which is an activity where all our neighbors fill brown paper bags with sand and line the street with them.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Then, we went outside to put up luminaria, which is an activity where all our neighbors fill brown paper bags with sand and line the street with them.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Then, we went outside to put up luminaria, which is an activity where all our neighbors fill brown paper bags with sand and line the street with them.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • In order to obtain light, and above all fresh air, shafts called luminaria, somewhat like chimneys, were cut through the soil to the surface of the ground.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

  • This package includes everything for 24 luminaria, which is 24 white bags, 24 10-hour candles, 24 candle cups, instructions, sand for the bag, a personalized gift card and history of luminaria.

    azcentral.com | news

  • The winning word was "luminaria," defined in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern.

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  • The winning word was "luminaria," defined in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern.

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  • Highlighting the evening is the luminaria service, a candlelight vigil held at nightfall to honor survivors and to remember those lost to cancer.

    HW Stand Up To Cancer: Relay For Life «

  • Neighbors contribute $15 each toward the cost of materials; four designated " captains " are charged with setting up the luminaria along sections of the road.

    Keeping Up With the Kringles

  • She is active in the neighborhood homeowners association, whose outreach efforts include a block party as part of the anti-crime initiative National Night Out, as well as yard sales, get-togethers and a luminaria display along the streets each Christmas Eve.

    Quailwood, in La Plata, Md., is serene after the storm

Comments

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  • A luminaria or farolito is a light or little lantern, usually a candle inside a paper lamp shade, which is of significance among New World Hispanics at Christmas time.

    A farolito is carried by the leader of a Posada procession. Las Posadas is a nine-day holiday beginning December 16 and ending December 24.

    In the U.S. states of New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas luminarias are made from brown paper bags weighted down with sand and illuminated from within by a lit candle and traditionally displayed on Christmas Eve. These are typically arranged in rows to create large and elaborate displays. Artificial luminarias, which are made of plastic and use light bulbs instead of candles, are also available. The hope among Christian believers is that the lights will guide the spirit of the Christ child to one's home. In recent times they are seen more as a secular decoration, akin to holiday lights, and have gained popularity in other parts of the country.

    Santa Fe and Old Town Albuquerque are well known for their impressive Christmas Eve luminaria displays.

    _Wikipedia

    February 24, 2008

  • Or looked at in another light, "light song," "lumin (light) + "aria" (song)."

    December 26, 2012