UNM’s annual Hanging of the Greens is on the horizon, beckoning in the holiday season.

On Friday, Dec. 6, the campus will be illuminated by more than 13,000 luminarias. It’s a collaborative event presented by the UNM Mortar Board Society and supported by groups and departments across campus. This year at the Mortar Board Society national conference, Hanging of the Greens resulted in UNM being one of 36 chapters recognized with a Project Excellence Award. 

“Hanging of the Greens is a magical event,” said Madelyn Lucas, vice-president of ASUNM and the Mortar Board Society at UNM. “The luminarias, the beautiful wreath, and the yummy New Mexican food make you feel at home. Being one of UNM’s oldest events, it brings together members of the ABQ community to carry on a New Mexican holiday tradition.”

The event begins at 5:45 p.m. at the UNM Bookstore on main campus, where the community will gather to carol with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Lobo Louie and Lucy and a host of elves. Together, the group walks to University House and presents President Stokes with a holiday wreath.

Afterward, carolers move to Hodgin Hall, singing along the way, to a reception with biscochitos and hot chocolate from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 

The community is invited, and attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped children's book to place under the tree at Hodgin Hall. Books will be donated to UNM Children's Hospital.

The Hanging of the Greens is a traditional event that first began in the 1930’s with Lena C. Clauve, former UNM student and UNM Dean of Women. The tradition began at UNM when students would drive to the Sandia Mountains to gather greenery, they would later use to decorate the Student Union Building.