We live next to one of the prettiest parks in Mexico City. It really doesn’t need any embellishments, but the city can’t seem to leave well enough alone lately. For Day of the Dead, park workers planted thousands of marigolds, which, while gorgeous and festive, quickly wilted from lack of watering, and/or were trampled on by dogs (snobby Condesa dog owners consider themselves too good for leashes).
A few weeks ago, I saw the big park trucks unloading poinsettias by the hundreds. They’re known in Mexico as the flores de noche buena — holy night flowers, as in Christmas Eve. Poinsettias are native to Mexico (read about their history here), and this time of year, every little corner florist has them for sale, at about $2 a pop. I think their popularity is probably bolstered by the fact that they’re also patriotic, only coming in the colors of the Mexican flag (except for the more pink variety, I guess…which I think were probably invented in a lab and don’t naturally come that way.)
One cool fact you may not realize about poinsettias is that they can get HUGE, like trees. Case in point: This photo I took in November at a friend’s wedding in Coyoacan:
As expected, the park’s noche buenas have not held up well to the arid dry season conditions and trampling from the dogs. Still, I did my best to to take some nice photos today for you, dear readers, while out walking my very leashed dog, Charlie: