Christmas Eve Canyon Road Farolito Walk

You are offered one all-expenses paid night in Santa Fe. What night would that be? Our suggestion:  pick Christmas Eve. It’s like no other night here. Besides a selection of annual concerts and Mid-night Mass, there’s the annual Canyon Road Farolito Walk; it’s magical.

We walked by this decorated wagon at Nedra Matteucci Gallery Gallery on Christmas Eve photo/Steve Collins

Walk past this decorated wagon at Nedra Matteucci Gallery Gallery on Christmas Eve photo/Steve Collins

While some who live here might say, “Bah humbug,” and complain that it’s too crowded, we love it. It seems like the entire city comes out to see and be seen. Farolitos (paper bags with a sand base and a candle on top), luminarias (small piñon wood bonfires), and thousands of fairy lights light the narrow old street lined with homes, shops, galleries and restaurants. People greet old friends and strangers. People break into spontaneous carols. Hot drinks are given away and sold. It’s a great way to spend the evening.

Farolitos on a wall on Christmas Eve, photo/Steve Collins

Farolitos on a wall on Christmas Eve, photo/Steve Collins

The tradition of the farolitos is said to have begun in the early 19th century when colorful Chinese lanterns arrived in Veracruz, Mexico from the Philippines and were then brought to Santa Fe. In the latter part of the 19th century, paper bags were invented and were less expensive giving birth to a new tradition. The small bonfires known as luminarias came over with the Spanish centuries ago. It is said that these bonfires light the way for the Christ Child.

A luninaria burns photo/Steve Collins

A luninaria burns photo/Steve Collins

The Canyon Road Walk began as a neighborhood thing in the 1970s and took on a life of it’s own.

The festivities start at dusk; go early. If you go early, you’ll find it less crowded and it’s easier to find parking in the lots at the PERA building on Paseo de Peralta. Canyon Road and a few of the neighboring streets are closed to traffic for the night.

Fairy lights and farolitos on Canyon Road, photo/Steve Collins

Fairy lights and farolitos on Canyon Road, photo/Steve Collins

Feliz Navidad!

 Join us for our Christmas Eve Canyon Road Farolito Walk.

Read more about Christmas Eve in Santa Fe.

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4 Responses to “Christmas Eve Canyon Road Farolito Walk”

  1. Agness
    December 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    The town looks so bright and charming! Wishing you all the best and a Merry Christmas from China!!

  2. Name
    December 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Do they do this on New Years Eve as well?

    • Billie Frank
      December 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

      No. New Years Eve in Santa Fe is pretty quiet.

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