a traditional Christmas ornament in Mexico and the SW U.S., consisting of a candle in an open, sand-filled paper bag: typically several of these are placed in a row outdoors and lighted as on Christmas Eve
- A votive candle set into a small, decorative paper bag weighted with sand and placed in a row with others along a walkway, driveway, or rooftop as a holiday decoration. Also called regionally farolito.
- New Mexico A bonfire built in front of each house in a pueblo to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Origin of luminariaSpanish, from Latin l&umacron;minaria, pl. of l&umacron;minare, lamp; see luminary.