NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

NMSU campuses join their communities in the spirit of the holidays

Date: 12/01/2014

New Mexico State University campuses across the state will be aglow during December, as they get into the holiday spirit along with their local communities.

Luminarias on campus
New Mexico State University will host its 30th annual Noche de Luminarias, featuring more than 6,000 luminarias from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The main Las Cruces campus will celebrate its milestone 30th annual Noche de Luminarias event, with more than 6,000 luminarias glowing all over campus from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7.

One of the largest luminaria displays in New Mexico, the candle-lit paper bags will begin at the Educational Services Building, follow along the International Mall and surround Corbett Center Student Union. The Las Cruces High School band will set up the display and entertainers will serenade visitors inside Corbett Center and outdoors, as they venture through the lighted path.

?Noche de Luminarias? or ?Night of Lights? is a university tradition that began in 1984 as the President?s Holiday Reception. It is a way for the university and community to kick off the holiday season with an evening of festivities and entertainment.

The event will start with a special 3:30 p.m. free showing of ?A Dennis the Menace Christmas? at the Corbett Center Ballrooms.

The New Mexican tradition of luminarias, also known as ?farolitos? or ?little lanterns,? originated in the 16th century as a Spanish tradition of lighting small bonfires along the roads and churchyards to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and to guide people to Midnight Mass. In the early 19th century, U.S. settlers on the Santa Fe Trail hung Chinese paper lanterns to illuminate their entryways, but because the hanging lanterns were easily damaged in the wind, small bags were made and placed on the ground, rooftops and along pathways.

Today, luminarias are placed throughout the Southwest as a symbol of hospitality and welcoming to all who cross our paths during the holiday season.

"Noche de Luminarias" is sponsored by NMSU Campus Activities, ASNMSU, Housing and Campus Life, Auxiliary Services, the Barnes & Noble at NMSU, Sodexo and Corbett Center Student Union. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call ASNMSU at 575-646-4415.

At NMSU-Alamogordo, the campus community is invited to join in the lighting of the Alamogordo community Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Alamogordo Airborne Park.

NMSU-A will contribute a large double bell ornament to hang on the tree, festooned with NMSU?s ?All About Discovery!? theme.

Faculty, staff and student groups are encouraged to attend, and can contact Hope Patterson at peach@nmsu.edu or 575-439-3729 for more information.

The NMSU-Carlsbad community will take part in several community celebrations, including the popular Christmas on the Pecos event. Participants will help homeowners facing the river to decorate their homes with beautiful lights in preparation for the month-long celebration, which features evening boat rides past festive homes and islands of twinkling lights.

The Associated Students organization at NMSU-Carlsbad also created a float for the city?s annual MainStreet Electric Light Parade, which took place Nov. 29.

Written by Amanda Bradford

Around the State Archives