It’s a magical evening before Lobos go home for the winter break to spend time with family and friends for the holidays when the University of New Mexico campus comes aglow with over 14,000 luminarias for the annual “Hanging of the Greens.”
Join the UNM Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society at the university’s oldest student tradition on Friday, Dec. 4. The festivities begin at 5:45 p.m. just outside the UNM Bookstore. This free event includes hot chocolate and biscochitos before caroling begins.
The caroling route makes its way first to University House for the presentation of a holiday wreath to President Robert Frank and his wife, Janet. The caroling will then head on to Hodgin Hall for the President’s reception and a holiday lighting of the “U” statue. The President’s Reception at Hodgin Hall for refreshments begins at 6:30 p.m.
“Hanging of the Greens” has been a UNM tradition since Lena C. Clauve, former UNM student and UNM Dean of Women, began it in the 1930s. The tradition started with students driving to the Sandia Mountains, where they would gather greenery, which they would use to decorate the Student Union Building.
Now, the UNM Mortar Board, which has sponsored the event since the 1950s, provides student organizations with the sand, bags and candles to construct luminarias, which are then set in walkways, doorways, rooftops and walls across campus.
In recent years, the event has drawn crowds in excess of 1,000 people, and the Mortar Board hopes to continue that trend. The entire UNM community is invited and attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped children’s book to place under the tree at Hodgin Hall to be donated to the UNM Children’s Hospital. Campus visitors are also encouraged to pick up used luminarias the morning of Dec. 5.
For more information on Hanging of the Greens or UNM Mortar Board, contact Andrea Marquez at the Student Activities Center at (505) 277-4706.