We often see this floral display during the Christmas season. Do you know what they are called?

They are called poinsettia. (pronounced POIN- ser- dear)
\pȯin-ˈse-tē-ə, ÷pȯint-, ÷-ˈse-tə\

In Mexico, it is known as “La Flor de Noche Buena”, which translates into the “Christmas Eve Flower.”

How did it become associated with the festival?

In 16th century Mexico, a legend tells of a girl who can’t afford a gift for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. 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.

Some of you may prefer a real Christmas tree compared with the fake ones most Singaporeans have at home. However, due to our hot weather, it’s hard work to keep a real Christmas tree at home- you need to keep the temperature low, add ice to the plant and risk all sorts of insects (including mosquitoes) in return for the Christmas feel and the nice smell of pine.

Alternatively, you can place some beautiful poinsettia as part of the Christmas decoration and your apartment will still have a special festival touch to it.