Wednesday, November 12, 2014

December Holidays in Santa Fe: 2014 Calendar of Events

Santa Fe is a great place to be for the holidays. Walking Canyon Road on Christmas Eve is not to be missed!

Savvy travelers—such as Conde Nast Traveler readers who this month voted Santa Fe a Top Ten Destination in the World—know that the December holiday season is the time when the city’s multicultural traditions shine brightest. The festive spirit is everywhere in The City Different—from the snow-topped mountains and Ski Santa Fe to the unbelievable hot chocolate in the shops along The Chocolate Trail—with many hotels offering holiday rates that provide further incentive to visit.
Santa Fe, which means “Holy Faith,” celebrates with a cavalcade of lights, displays, performance, cuisine and treats with nearly every day bringing a unique event from the endlessly creative, social and welcoming local Santa Feans. 

Here are just a few of the most notable highlights from a season that features over three dozen marquee yule opportunities:
Native American Dances
Ceremonial Native American dances are beautiful and spiritual to watch. There are many of them at nearby pueblos during the holiday season, starting in mid-December and especially on Christmas Eve and Day.  Visit The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture for listings and important etiquette for these religious events. 

December 4, 2014 to January 3, 2015 – GLOW At The Santa Fe Botanical Garden
      Where Pueblo dances are the most ancient of Santa Fe winter culture, GLOW is the newest example of modern innovation. This Winter Lights Event In The Garden is now in its second year and has partnered with Joe Dean of Lumenscapes Illuminated Media to create dazzling and extravagant displays of magical lighting. GLOW is a holiday family event with Santa making a guest appearance on Friday nights. Entrance to GLOW is by admission. Children twelve and under are free. 

December 12, 2014 – Christmas At The Palace 
     The Palace of the Governors, a 400-year-old adobe building that once housed Spanish officials, is a magical setting for this old-fashioned Christmas party.  Spanish and Native American traditions are celebrated accompanied by music, entertainment and hot cider for all, plus a special visit by Mr. & Mrs. Claus. For more information, visit The New Mexico History Museum

December 14, 2014 – Las Posadas
This centuries-old Spanish tradition takes place at night, outdoors on the festively decorated historic Santa Fe Plaza. The folk play depicts the search for shelter by Mary and Joseph on Christmas Eve. The crowd carries candles and follows the action, including energetically booing the love-to-hate devils. Everyone is invited for cookies and cider after at the Palace of the Governors. For more information, please visit The New Mexico History Museum.

Christmas Eve Midnight Mass
This mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is a colorful, musical event that incorporates an old Spanish tale about an aged rooster who greeted the Christ Child with his joyful crow. The cathedral itself is lavishly decorated and lit reflecting its Native American and Spanish heritage.
      Santa Fe glitters with twinkling amber lights on Christmas Eve. Humble materials—paper bags weighted with sand and filled with candles–line streets, fences, rooftops, and entire neighborhoods. The only way to describe the effect is pure magic. The Plaza is decked in 1,000 farolitos at dusk as revelers gather for cookies and cider. From there, many take night walks to the top of the Cross of the Martyrs lit with farolitos and luminarias or small bonfires. The Christmas Eve walk is along Canyon Road, renowned world-class home of artists and galleries, and through the Eastside neighborhoods where every surface is covered with farolitos while luminarias burn surrounded by carolers. 

There’s much more. For a complete list, please visit “Holidays in Santa Fe.”

Photography Copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose