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A local innkeeper knows New Mexico secrets and tells anyone who will listen.

There will be dancing – Christmas at New Mexico Pueblos

If it is Christmas time in new Mexico there will be dancing at the New Mexico Pueblos, as nearly every Indian Pueblo in New Mexico has dancing happening in December during the Christmas season. There will be Deer Dances, Buffalo Dances, Corn Dances and Los Matachines to name a few. Most all these dances are open to the public, but it is best to check with each individual Pueblo for the schedules and details. Many dances are held before, during and after Mass. General information and contact info on the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico can be found at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and on the New Mexico State Tourism website.

These dances are all very colorful affairs that will mesmerize, inspire, fascinate and leave an everlasting impression on one’s soul. They are formal, religious and demand the utmost respect on all levels. Please obey and respect all rules. A man from Santa Clara Pueblo was so moved by the Deer Dance at one of the other Pueblos that he wrote about it and upon going public by entering his essay in a contest, was promptly banned for life from this pueblo with threat of arrest if he ever set foot on their land again. Don’t get me wrong – this is not scary and they are all celebrations, but please be good and respectful. Also, dress for the crisp, cold New Mexico winter weather.

December 24 & 25
Picuris & Ohkay Owingeh* Pueblos – Spanish dance “Los Matachines”
Ohkay Owingeh – Pine Torch Procession

December 24 (Christmas Eve)
Taos Pueblo – Sundown procession with bonfires – Children’s Dance
Old Acoma Pueblo – Pueblo is lit with luminaries beginning at the Scenic View Point and continuing up to “Sky City”
Laguna Pueblo – Dances follow 10 a.m. Mass
San Felipe, Santa Ana & Tesuque Pueblos – Dances after midnight Mass
Nambe Pueblo – Buffalo Dances after Mass
Ohkay Owingeh & Picuris Pueblos – Sundown torchlit procession of the Virgin Vespers – Matachine Dance
Santo Domingo – Midnight Mass and Dances
Tesuque – Dances after midnight mass.

December 25
Tesuque Pueblo – Various dances
Taos – Deer Dance mid-day
Ohkay Owingeh & Picuris Pueblo – Dances to be announced (Deer or Los Matachine)
San Ildefonso Pueblo – Christmas Celebration & Matachine Dances
Santo Domingo – Christmas Dances
Zia – Christmas Dancing

December 26
Ohkay Owingeh – Turtle Dance
Santo Domingo – Christmas Celebration – Corn Dances
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – Traditional Dances

December 28
Santa Clara Pueblo – Innocents Day Dance
Picuris Pueblo – Holy Innocence Day “Children’s Dance”
Santo Domingo – Christmas Celebration – Corn Dances
Zia – Christmas Dancing

January 1
Taos – Turtle Dance – mid-day

Information for Christmas Celebrations for the pueblos listed above( except Acoma and Laguna), call (505) 843-7270 or (575) 455-3460 for Eight Northern Pueblos; out of state (800) 766-4405.

For information about Dances at Laguna – call (505) 552-6654
For information about Acoma Events call (505) 252-1139 or (800) 747-0181

*Ohkay Owingeh – formerly San Juan Pueblo

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2 Responses to “There will be dancing – Christmas at New Mexico Pueblos”

  1. David Leeming says:

    Is it possible to attend dances in the Old Acoma Pueblo church on Christmas Day?

    • adobenido says:

      I believe it is open to all, but it’s best to contact the Acoma Pueblo directly, or go to their website.

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