Definition of luminaria
: a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a paper bag
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Recent Examples of luminaria from the Web
A highlight of the ceremony will be the presentation of an American flag encased in a frame, which will honor the service of Korean War veterans, and the lighting of luminaria around the Post's Memorial Circle.
Honor a cancer survivor or remember someone who has lost the battle by purchasing a luminaria from a team member or at RelayForLife.org/BrunswickOH.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'luminaria'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Luminaria is a fairly recent addition to English; the earliest known use in our language dates from 1949, about the time that the old Mexican Christmas custom was gaining popularity among Anglo-Americans. In some parts of the U.S., particularly New Mexico, these festive lanterns are also called farolitos, which means "little lanterns" in Spanish. We borrowed luminaria from Spanish, but the word has been around with exactly the same spelling since the days of Late Latin. The term ultimately traces to the classical Latin luminare, meaning "window," and to lumen, meaning "light." It is related to other light-bearing words such as luminary, illuminate, and phillumenist (a fancy name for someone who collects matchbooks).
Origin and Etymology of luminaria
Spanish, decorative light, from Late Latin
First Known Use: 1949
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