The concept of luminarias, which are brown paper bags partially filled with sand and then illuminated from the inside by a candle to create a lantern-like appearance, was introduced to America by the Spaniards, who adopted and adapted the idea from the Chinese. Though global in creation, luminarias are typically found most often around the Southwest, lining roadways and walkways in the days leading up to Christmas.
In Phoenix, luminarias line the twisting pathways that make up the Desert Botanical Garden. Among the cactus and succulents, these glowing bags cast a wonderfully mysterious luminescence during Las Noches de las Luminarias. It's a cherished event complete with live music, storytelling and wonderful, locally sourced foods throughout the compound.
Catch the spectacle from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, December 9, and through Tuesday, December 31, at the 1201 North Galvin Parkway. Tickets are $30 for adults and $12.50 for children 3 to 12. Dining options are available. Visit www.dbg.orgor call 480-941-1225.