Santa Fe is magical at holiday time. Santa Fe, which means “Holy Faith,” welcomes everyone of all faiths to celebrate the season with dozens of special events closely tied to the city’s centuries of diverse history and culture. “The City Different” always offers big portions and high quality, and this season’s menu of activities is no exception. A full calendar is available at www.santafe.org/Calendar where new events are added frequently. Here are some highlights:
November 27 — Annual Lighting Of The Christmas Tree & Santa Fe Plaza: During the yuletide no place is more festive than the historic Downtown Plaza, home of the city's official Christmas trees. Every Thanksgiving Friday, colored lights transform the square into a wonderland. Watch the state capital of New Mexico become a world capital of Christmas. Festivities begin at 3:00 p.m., followed by Santa Claus’ arrival on a decorated vintage red firetruck, and the lighting at 6:00 p.m.
November 28 - 29 — Winter Indian Market: The holiday-season version of the greatest indigenous art show in the world includes 175 artists from the US and Canada, six award-winning artist demonstrators and fashion row featuring the work of Native fashion designers. Incomparable holiday gift shopping opportunities include jewelry, pottery, art objects, imaginative holiday decorations and more. www.swaia.org
December 3 - January 2 — GLOW—A Winter Lights Event In The Garden: The Santa Fe Botanical Garden presents GLOW: nights of extraordinary displays of winter lights, kinetic light sculptures and a shimmering tunnel that transports visitors into an illuminated garden wonderland. Enjoy festive food and beverages, and on Saturday nights visits and photos with Santa and live music. There’s nothing like GLOW to create a special holiday tradition for your family and friends. http://www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/events/glow/
December 6 – Community Menorah Lighting: The Genoveva Chavez Center and co-sponsor Chabad Jewish Community Center present the annual lighting of the menorah on the Downtown Plaza. The ninety minute event begins at 3:00 p.m. and will include speakers, refreshments and entertainment.
December 13 — Las Posadas: The annual candle-lit procession circles the historic Plaza and showcases the Hispanic tradition that recreates Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to give birth to Baby Jesus. The group is taunted throughout by the devil from the rooftops but generosity and love win out as the couple and visitors find a warm welcome in the Palace of the Governors courtyard for carols and complimentary cookies and warm drinks. Free. www.palaceofthegovernors.org
Christmas Eve — Canyon Road Farolito Walk: Internationally famed Canyon Road blossoms in candlelight during this beloved annual celebration. The adobe-gallery lined road is decorated with thousands of farolitos—homemade candle lanterns—and luminarias, or small bonfires. See exceptional works of art inside century-old adobes, enjoy the comforting hot chocolate, cider and traditional biscochitos in the art galleries, and keep warm singing carols by the luminarias along the way. Simply a must experience event for anyone with holiday spirit. www.farolitowalk.com
Christmas Eve — Noche Buena: Midnight mass on Christmas Eve 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 historic cathedral will be decorated and lit to reflect its Native American and Spanish heritage. www.cbsfa.org
New Year’s Eve On The Plaza — Santa Fe launches the first of a new annual tradition on the historic Downtown Plaza. There’ll be live entertainment including the mighty Lumbre del Sol, food trucks and vendors, youth and non-profit groups serving warm drinks, and traditional luminaria bonfires surrounding the area. The night begins at 10:30 and culminates in a digital media / light show countdown. More details to come on www.santafe.org.
Seasonal — Live Musical Performances: A variety of special live holiday music performances take place in small settings such as the Loretto Chapel and larger venues such as The Lensic Performing Arts Center. Check out all the fun on www.santafe.org/Calendar.