Friday, December 19, 2008

Red leaves and green leaves

Latroun Monastery, home to Trappist monks, is the only place in Israel I have ever seen poinsettias growing.
These are pictures from last December.

Here's the story (from Wikipedia):
"The plants' association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson 'blossoms' sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. From the 17th century, Franciscan monks in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations."


Kay said...

This is such a beautiful story, Dina. We had poinsettias growing all the time in our backyard in Waipahu, Hawaii. I'm so glad you're still able to post. I'm wondering where you are right now.

Dina said...

Kay, I should be packing now but it's more fun to be blogging. I leave Israel only on Thursday. Not yet! Not ready.

spacedlaw said...

Great story. I did not know they could grow in the "wild".

Richard Lawry said...

I'm here blogging, and I leave on my trip in a few minutes. I had never heard the story of the poinsettia. I would love to see them growing naturally

An Arkie's Musings

Judy said...

Impressive! I had not realized that poinsettias could grow in the ground! I have only ever seen them in pots. Or that they could grow so large!
And I had never heard the story before, either! I have learned so much from you!
Thank you for enlarging my world!

Eki said...

Pointsetias are just a decorative plant here; but I know they are the Christmas plant in the US. I didn't know the story behind the tradition, though. Thanks for sharing the story, Dina.

mommanator said...

what beautiful gardens! you make wonder of everywhere you go!

Reader Wil said...

What a beautiful legend. Poinsettias are only kept indoors in my country, but in Australia they grow just everywhere in Queensland. Amazing and the bushes are huge.

jordaenne said...

beautiful Dina.

Thankyou for painting more red and rejuvenating green in your journal.

I thought of you as I lit some candles in our cathedral.I hope you received my message of light.I ususally like to go to all the 4 advent celebrations but I just made it to one this year. Weather is probably a big factor. It is
-40 C.

the priest lights the three violet candles representing violation on the three sundays of advent and the rose coloured candle of christmas is lit on christmas day.
I enjoyed reading your post on advent.

May you enjoy the light.

love and light

note (ha ha)yes I also thought you had left but blogging should take priority over all. ha ha.
have a beautiful day.

Leora said...

I remember seeing the monastery from a distance when we were in Latrun. Lots of flowers in that area, I should have taken even more photos!

Have a great trip.

Susie of Arabia said...

I love Poinsettias. Your photos are lovely - the last one is my favorite - it's such a pretty setting. Your story was wonderful too.
Wishing you the happiest of holidays...

Tootie said...

Very beautiful Dina, thanks for sharing your story. Have a wonderful trip.