Barbados, being a tropical country, does
not have a winter season with snow and plunging temperatures, but there are
signs that the Christmas season is approaching - the temperature drops a little
(especially at night), the breeze picks up a bit, and of course the colours
of Christmas appear across the island in the form of flowering plants that make
their presence felt at this special time of the year.
One of the most beautiful signs is the
Poinsettia. The Poinsettia is a traditional holiday adornment used to decorate
tables, patios and entryways but is often found at its most beautiful growing
outside in the gardens of many Barbados homes.
The legend of the Poinsettia comes from
Mexico where it is said that two poor children made their way to the annual
village Christmas festival but were saddened by the fact that they had no gifts
to lay at the manger. On the way to the festival they stopped and picked some
weeds growing along the roadside. They lay these plants at the manger but were
teased by the other children. Suddenly however the green plants turned into
bright red petals, surrounding the manger with the lovely flowers that we know
as the Poinsettia.
Another beautiful flower that comes into
full bloom during the "winter" is the "Christmas Candle".
These yellow flowers truly do resemble candles and when found growing in large
number they create a spectacular scene!
As you drive around Barbados at this time
of the year, you will often spot our local snow - the "Snow on the Mountain"
plant. If you are really lucky you might even see Poinsettia plants growing
among the Snow on the Mountain, creating a lovely mix of red and white.