With autumn surrendering to old man winter, where better to warm your soul and brighten your spirit than at the University of New Mexico "Hanging of the Greens." On Friday, Dec. 6, lights from some 14,000 farolitos (or luminarias) will cast an enchanting spell across campus for one of UNM's oldest traditions.

The UNM Mortar Board Senior Honor Society organizes the event and provides student organizations with the necessary sand, bags and candles to construct the luminarias, which are set in walkways, doorways rooftops and walls to cast a glowing spectacle across campus.

The festivities begin outside the UNM Bookstore at 5:45 p.m. with hot chocolate, biscochitos and caroling. In order to accommodate the growing popularity of the event, the caroling route will first make its way to University House where UNM students will present the official wreath to President Robert Frank and his wife, Janet. The caroling will continue on to Hodgin Hall for the President’s reception and a holiday lighting of the “U.”

The event drew a crowd of over 1,000 people last year, so the change in venue for the reception is not only a wonderful way to showcase UNM’s first building, but will offer the community a more spacious setting to enjoy music and refreshments. The UNM 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.

Hanging of the Greens has been a 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.

In the spirit of the season, an invitation is extended to one and all to come to campus Saturday morning when the luminarias will be free for the taking.

For more information, call (505) 277-5808 or email to: alumni@unm.edu.