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Highlights

Feast Days

When the Spanish came to New Mexico in the 1500s, they brought with them their Roman Catholic religion. Missionaries traveled to this new territory to bring their faith to the Native American peoples living there, converting many. However, native beliefs and customs persevered and became intertwined with those brought by the Spanish colonists.

Today, feast days are as much celebrations of ancient Native American traditions and heritage as they are commemorations of Catholic saints. Feast days include traditional dances, cultural activities, food, and arts and crafts vendors. Each dance tells a different story and serves a different purpose.  Every dance is considered a prayer, not a performance, and as such, outsiders are privileged to observe them. Drums beat with an insistent cadence and the air is filled with the fragrance of piñon smoke.

Attending a Feast Day

Native American feast days allow tribal members to come together in a renewal of their language, culture, and religion. On these days, the communities celebrating a feast day are open to the public, and members of the tribe will prepare a variety of bountiful meals to share with their visiting guests.

Visitors are often fascinated to see that pueblo life is a window to another world. Not relegated to history books or museums, this is a living culture that carries on the centuries-old traditions of their ancestors.

Calendar

Feast days are held on the same date every year. In addition to celebrating smaller feast days, most communities have a larger "annual feast day" celebration in honor of their patron saint.

Before attending one of these great, vibrant cultural celebrations, be sure to review Native American cultural etiquette.

January

Jan 1 Most Pueblos: Various dances, Transfer of Canes of Authority to new Tribal Officers

Jan 1 Taos Pueblo: Turtle Dance, marking the beginning of the new year

Jan 6 Most pueblos: King's Day Celebration in honor of new Tribal Officers, Antelope, Buffalo, Deer dances

Jan 22
San Ildefonso: Evening Firelight Dances

Jan 23 San Ildefonso: Pueblo Feast Day, Comanche, Buffalo and Deer dances throughout the day

Jan 25 Picuris Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh/San Juan Pueblo: St Paul's Feast Day
 
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February

Feb 2 Picuris Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo: Candelaria Day Celebration

1st weekend of Feb Old Acoma Pueblo: Governor's Feast Day, various dances

2nd week of Feb San Juan Pueblo: Deer dances

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March

Mar 19 Laguna Pueblo: Saint Joseph's Feast Day, Harvest and various other dances

Easter Weekend Most pueblos: Dances

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April

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May

May 1 San Felipe Pueblo: Feast Day, Corn dance

May 3 Taos Pueblo: Santa Cruz Feast Day, Corn dance, blessing of the fields, traditional foot races

May 7 Pueblo of Acoma: Santa Maria Feast Day

May 8 Jemez Pueblo: Giusewa Powwow, at Jemez State Monument

May 26 - 27 (Memorial Day Weekend) Jemez Pueblo: Weekend Jemez Red Rocks Arts and Crafts Show

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June

First Saturday in June Tesuque Pueblo: Blessing of the Fields

June 13 Picuris, Sandia, San Idlefonso, Ohkay Owingeh/San Juan, Santa Clara and Taos Pueblos: St Anthony's Feast Day / San Antonio Feast Day, Comanche or Corn dance

Father's Day weekend Picuris Pueblo: High Country Arts & Crafts Festival

June 23 San Juan Pueblo: Vespers, foot race and Buffalo dance

June 24 Ohkay Owingeh/San Juan Pueblo: San Juan Feast Day, Corn dance. Comanche/Buffalo dance. Taos Pueblo: Corn dance

June 29 Santa Domingo Pueblo/Santa Ana Pueblo: Corn dances. San Pedro/St. Peter Feast Day

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July

July 4 Nambe Pueblo: Celebration of the Waterfall.
Mescalero Apache: Maiden's Puberty Rites & Mountain Spirits Dance

Second weekend in July Taos Pueblo: Annual Intertribal Powwow

July 14 Cochiti Pueblo: St. Bonaventure Feast Day, Corn dances

Third weekend in July Eight Northern Indian Pueblos: 36th Annual Arts and Crafts Show

Third weekend in July Jicxarilla Apache: Little Beaver Celebration and Dances. Includes Pro-Indian/Open Rodeo, Powwow, dances, and more

July 25-26 San Ildefonso, Taos, Laguna, Santa Ana Pueblos: Santiago and Santa Ana Feast Day dances

Last weekend in July Zuni Pueblo: Zuni Arts and Cultural Expo

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August

Aug 4 Santo Domingo Pueblo: Saint Dominic Annual Feast Day and Corn Dance. For information: (505) 465-2214.

Aug 6-10 Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial: At Red Rock State Park near Gallup. Parades, rodeo, arts and crafts, dances, food, golf tourney, auctions, more. Parking and admission fees at Red Rock State Park. For information visit www.gallup-ceremonial.org or call 505.863.3896.

Aug 8-10 Zuni Cultural Arts Expo, Zuni NM: For Information visit www.zunitourism.com or call the visitor center at 505-782-7238

Aug 9 San Lorenzo Annual Feast Day: at Picuris Pueblo

Aug 10 Trade Fair and Races at the Picuris Pueblo: For information contact Picuris pueblo for all information. (575) 587-2519.

Aug 10 San Lorenzo Feast Day: Throw Day and dances at Acoma Pueblo. For information: (505) 252-1139 or (800) 747-0181.

Aug 10 San Lorenzo Feast Day: Cochiti Pueblo. For information: (505) 465-2244.

Aug 10 San Lorenzo Feast Day: Throw Day and dancing at Laguna Pueblo where people named Lawrence or Lorenzo throw items from rooftops to visitors. For information: (505) 552-6654.

Aug 12 Santa Clara Feast Day: Buffalo and other dances at Santa Clara Pueblo. For information: (505) 753-7326.

Aug 15 Assumption of Our Blessed Mother's Feast Day: Harvest and other dances at Village of Mesita, Laguna Pueblo. For information: (505) 552-6654.

Aug 23-24 Santa Fe Indian Market: At the Plaza in Santa Fe. Native American artists and craftspeople from all over the country exhibit. Juried competition, dances, food. No admission fee. For information: www.swaia.org or (505) 983-5220.

Late August Picuris Tri-Cultural Arts & Crafts Show: At Picuris Pueblo. Call to confirm dates and times: (575) 587-2519.

Aug TBA Ramah Fair: Parade, pow-wow, arts and crafts, sanctioned and open show rodeos, queen's contest, barbeque, baby contest, 5k run, more. At Pinehill Chapter House, Ramah, New Mexico, Navajo Reservation.

Aug 28 Saint Augustine Feast Day: Isleta Pueblo Morning mass followed by a procession. Dances in the afternoon at the Isleta Pueblo. For information: (505) 869-3111.

Aug 30-31 Totah Festival: Crafts fair and pow-wow at the Farmington Civic Center, Farmington. Marketplace, rug auction, contest pow-wow, more. For information: (800) 448-1240 or www.farmingtonnm.org.

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September

Sept 1-7 Navajo Nation Fair. Traditional songs and dances, parade, Miss Navajo Nation Pageant, midway, rodeos, pow-wow, food, more at the Navajo Nation Fairgrounds, Window Rock, Arizona, Navajo Reservation. For information: Navajo Nation Fair Office: (928) 871-6478 or www.navajonationfair.com.

Sept 2 San Estevan Feast Day. Old Acoma Pueblo- Sky City, Acoma Pueblo. Harvest Dances. For information: www.skycity.com or 1-888-Sky-City

Labor Day Weekend Annual Arts & Crafts Market. At Santo Domingo Pueblo. For information: (505) 465-2214.

Sept 4 San Augustine Feast Day. Isleta Pueblo. For information: (505) 869-3111.

Sept 8
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Feast Day. Harvest and social dances at Village of Encinal, Laguna Pueblo. For information: (505) 552-6654.
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Feast Day. San Ildefonso Pueblo. Corn Dances For information: (505) 455-3549.

2nd or 3rd weekend Go-Jii-Yah Feast Day. At Stone Lake, Jicarilla Apache Reservation. For exact dates and event information: (575) 843-7270 or (575) 759-3242.

Sept 19
St. Joseph's Annual Feast Day. Old Laguna Village. Buffalo, Eagle and Social Dances at Laguna Pueblo. For information: (505) 552-6654.

Sept 25
St. Elizabeth's Feast Day. Harvest and Social Dances at Village of Paguate, Laguna Pueblo. For information: (505) 552-6654.

Sept 29-30 Feast of San Geronimo. Taos Pueblo. Dances, races, pole climb, arts and crafts fair at the Taos Pueblo. Per vehicle admission fee. Free bus is provided between parking area and the Pueblo for those who don't want to walk. For information: www.taospueblo.com or (575) 758-1028.

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October

Oct 4 St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day. Nambe Pueblo. Pueblo Dances. For information: (505) 455-2036.

Oct 4-7 Shiprock Navajo Nation Fair. Dancing, song and dance competition, arts and crafts, rodeos parade, more at the oldest annual Navajo Fair at Shiprock, New Mexico, Navajo Reservation. At the Shiprock Fairgrounds. For information: www.snf-inc.com.

Oct 11-12 Walatowa Visitor Center just North of Jemez Pueblo. This event will feature traditional dances, bread baking demonstration, as well as both Native and Non-Native artists selling their goods. (9am-5pm). www.jemezpueblo.com or email tourism@jemezpueblo.com

Oct 17 St. Margaret Mary's Feast Day. Village of Paraje, Laguna Pueblo Harvest and Social Dances at. For information: (505) 552-6654.
 
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November

Nov 12 San Diego Feast Day Tesuque Pueblo. Flag, Buffalo, Corn, Comanche and Deer Dances at the Tesuque Pueblo. For information: (505) 983-2667.

Nov 27 Christmas Light Parade. Zuni Pueblo. For Information visit www.zunitourism.com or call the visitor center at 505-782-7238

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December

1st Weekend Walatowa Winter Arts and Crafts Fair. Jemez Pueblo. For information: (505) 834-7235.

Dec 11-12 Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Feast Day. Pojoaque Pueblo. Pueblo Dances. For information: (505) 455-3460.

Dec 11-12 Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Feast Day. Bow and Arrow, Comanche and Buffalo Dances at Tesuque Pueblo. For information: (505) 983-2667.

Dec 24-28 Christmas Celebrations by Pueblo. Please contact Pueblo Tribal Offices directly to confirm if community is open to general public.

Dec 25-29 Old Acoma Pueblo. Sky City. Dances, luminarias. Christmas festivals at San Estevan del Rey Mission, Sky City, Acoma. For information: www.skycity.com or call 1-888-Sky-City

Dec 25-28 Old Laguna Pueblo. Dec. 25th 10 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. Deer, Harvest, Arrow and other Dances after mass. Harvest dances continue for three more days. For information: (505) 552-6654.

Dec 24 Nambe Pueblo. Christmas Eve Mass followed by Buffalo, Deer and Antelope Dances.

Dec 24 Picuris Pueblo. Christmas celebrations and "Los Matachines."

Dec 24 San Felipe Pueblo. Dances after midnight mass. Dances Dec 25th.

Dec 24-25 Ohkay Owingeh (Formally San Juan Pueblo). Spanish dance drama "Los Matachines" and Pine Torch Procession.

Dec 24-25 San Ildefonso. Christmas celebrations and various dances.

Dec 24-25 Santa Clara. Christmas celebrations and various dances.

Dec 24 Taos Pueblo. Sundown Procession with bonfires.
 
Dec 24 Tesuque Pueblo. Dances after midnight mass.

Dec 25-28 Zia. Pueblo Dances.

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