As the countdown to Christmas nears, our hearts look forward to the traditional food and events of Christmas in New Mexico. Christmas day is all about family, but for many of us in Santa Fe - Christmas Eve is all about being out and about seeing friends, both new and old.
If you grew up in the City Different, there are many memories of filling your tummies full of spicy Posole, pouring your to-go cups full of hot chocolate or cider, and bundling up for a very special night. Posole is a soup or stew made with hominy corn, chile and flavorful seasonings and is a Christmas tradition in many of our homes. Whether you make it at home or enjoy it at one of the many restaurants that serve this New Mexico favorite, like our very own, Del Charro, it is the perfect food to warm your soul for the cold winter night.
Once you are full of good food (and definitely good cheer) you dress in your warmest duds and head to the one place in town where you are sure to bump into someone you know. Friends from high school that you haven’t seen in years to new friends made in the magic of the season; there is always a friend and a joyful smile around every corner. Just after dusk, the lanterns made of brown paper bags, a votive candle and sand, light up with a lovely glow. There is some debate about the name of these little bags of light, to some they are “luminarias” but to Santa Fe, New Mexicans they are “farolitos”. No matter what you call them, they are a lovely sight when lined up along the street and adorning the tops of the houses and galleries along Canyon Road. You stroll along with your loved ones, singing carols and enjoying the kinship of those you know or meet along the way. If you are staying with us this year, stop by the front desk to pick up some hot chocolate, hot cider and biscochitos for the evening's festivities.
For the very adventurous souls, looking for something culturally unique to New Mexico on December 24th and 25th, it is truly worth the hour and a half drive to the Taos Pueblo for their very special Christmas Eve Procession of the Virgin Mary and the Christmas Day Traditional Dance. Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated as a National Historic Landmark. The pueblo offers a door to the past with multi-storied adobe buildings that have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years and have a spectacular view of the mountains. Share in the experience of this beautiful tradition and please be respectful of the pueblo’s rules of etiquette so that many can continue to enjoy these holiday events for years to come.
We have a new addition to the New Year's Eve celebrations that will be happening just steps from the Inn on the Santa Fe plaza. The festivities begin at 8:45 pm as bonfires are lit around the Plaza. There will be hot chocolate and biscochitos on hand as three local bands entertain the crowds until 11:45pm. We will mark the end of 2016 by raising a handcrafted Zia symbol and at the very finish, fireworks will shower the cool Santa Fe sky.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at the Inn of the Governors. We wish you and yours a peaceful New Year and look forward to seeing you in 2017! Safe travels, Deb Swanson
Note: This post was originally published on December 23, 2013 and has been updated for current events.