It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The University of New Mexico’s annual Hanging of the Greens is just around the corner and hearts won’t be the only thing glowing, campus will be too.
On Friday, Dec. 2, campus will be aglow with the light of 14,000 luminarias –– one of the largest displays of its kind in the state –– to help ignite the holiday season. All are welcome to come and enjoy a stroll through campus, caroling, and some classic New Mexican fare.
For more than 85 years students have led the December tradition. Hanging of the Greens is planned by Mortar Board, UNM’s senior honor society, and supported by more than 25 student organizations that make the luminarias and place them throughout campus.
“Not only is it one of UNM's oldest traditions, but it also holds a special place in the hearts of the Albuquerque community,” Jose Mendoza, president of Mortar Board said. “Families, students and friends come together for a magical night to enjoy the luminarias, the caroling, the beautiful wreath, and of course the New Mexican food that makes you feel at home.”
The festivities will begin at 5:45 outside the UNM Bookstore. The community is invited to carol their way through campus with Santa, Lobo Louie and Lucy, and a host of holiday elves. The carolers will make their way to University House where the group will present President Stokes with the celebration’s signature wreath.
Caroling will be followed by a reception at Hodgin Hall where visitors can enjoy hot chocolate, biscochitos, posole and more. Participants are encouraged to bring an unwrapped children’s book to leave under the tree for donation to UNM Children’s Hospital.
Hanging of the Greens dates back to the 1930s, when students would gather greenery at the Sandia Mountains to decorate the Student Union Building. A candlelight procession, eventually replaced by the beloved luminaria walk, and visit to the President’s house became part of the event in the 1940s.
Today, the event gives students, alumni, and the Albuquerque community an opportunity to deck the halls and celebrate the holiday season.