According to Wikipedia, "Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia or noche buena, is a species of flowering plant indigenous to Mexico and Central America. The name "poinsettia" is after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, who introduced the plant into the US in 1828."
So, we import (either over international lines or certainly over state lines) these brightly colored plants that need 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of bright daylight to produce their crimson leaves.
So, why do these festive Central American plants show up around the holidays? Again, thanks to Wikipedia, here is the explanation:
"The plant's 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 friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations. The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrifice through the crucifixion of Jesus."
There you have it! Buena Noche comes to us from afar, and often in very small packaging (love the bag that our Poinsettia was delivered to us in).
Also, just in case anyone was wondering, Dos Equis (the beer company) has a delicious Estilo Bock for the holidays called Buena Noche...see below. We are sipping one now. Yummy!