Pueblo Christmas Celebrations

To learn more about all of New Mexico’s 19 pueblos and see what dances and feast days are open to visitors year-round, check out the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

We recommend calling at least two days in advance to confirm with each Pueblo that the dances listed below will take place. Please take note and respect each Pueblo’s individual rules for non-tribal visitors.

Jémez Pueblo

575-834-7235

The Pueblo of Jémez is the only remaining Towa-speaking pueblo. It is surrounded by colorful red sandstone mesas and serves as the gateway to the Cañon de San Diego and the Jémez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byway. Jémez’s main village, Walatowa, is open to visitors only during feast days. Photography, sketching, and recording are prohibited at the pueblo.

December 12 – Matachines Dances

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Laguna Pueblo

505-552-6654

Laguna Pueblo is surrounded by enchanting mesas and is situated in the foothills of Mount Taylor. It is also the largest Keresan-speaking pueblo. Please note that photography, sketching, and audio/video taping are generally not allowed on Laguna land.

December 24 – St. Joseph Mission, Old Laguna. Various dances after 10 p.m. mass

December 27 – Old Laguna Village, 10 a.m. mass followed by Harvest Dance

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Nambé Pueblo

505-455-4400

The Pueblo of Nambé, one of the Tewa-speaking pueblos of northern New Mexico, is a popular stop for visitors seeking beauty and recreation in the stunning foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The pueblo is known for its beautiful public ceremonies and traditions, stunning landscapes, traditional textiles, and world-famous pottery production.

December24 – Buffalo Dances after mass

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Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo

505-852-4400

Ohkay Owingeh is one of the largest Tewa-speaking pueblos and is the headquarters of the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council and is home to the Oke-Oweenge Crafts Cooperative, which exhibits the art of the eight northern pueblos.

December 24 – Matachines Dance & Pine Torch Procession
December 25 – Various dances
December 26 – Turtle Dance

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Picuris Pueblo

575-587-2519

Picuris is the smallest Tiwa-speaking pueblo and is also one of the most remote pueblos. Spanish colonizer Juan de Oñate originally named the pueblo Pikuria—those who paint. Picuris has a long history of creating beautiful arts, crafts, and pottery, a tradition of artistry that continues to this day.

December 24 – Sundown torchlight procession of the Virgin Vespers, Mass procession, Matachines & various dances before and after mass

December 25 – Christmas Celebration with Matachines dances

December 28 – Holy Innocents Day

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Pojoaque Pueblo

505-455-5041 (Poeh Center)

Pojoaque Pueblo is one of the six northern Tewa-speaking Pueblos along the Rio Grande. Today, the Poeh Cultural Center features pueblo art and exhibits, hosts traditional Native dances, and preserves the traditional arts of the Tewa-speaking pueblos.

December 11 – Vespers, procession & dances, 6 p.m.

December 12 – Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day

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San Felipe Pueblo

505-867-3381

Keresan is the Pueblo of San Felipe’s native language, and the Keres language continues to be a living language, taught and spoken by San Felipe families and elders. Food and crafts booths spring up during ceremonials in the village near San Felipe Church at the foot of Black Mesa.

December 24 – Dances after midnight mass

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Santa Ana Pueblo

505-867-3301

The Santa Ana Pueblo people have occupied their current site since at least the 1500s. The members of Santa Ana, the Tamayame, have close ties and a tradition of cultural exchange with nearby Keresan-speaking pueblos, Zia and San Felipe. Today, the pueblo is known for its spirit of entrepreneurship and offers numerous modern recreational activities and traditional foods and products for its visitors.

December 25 – Buffalo & various dances

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Santo Domingo

505-465-2214

Santo Domingo Pueblo, also known as Kewa Pueblo, is located near the ancient Cerrillos turquoise mines and has an entrenched history of making fine jewelry and heishi out of the colorful stones. The pueblo is known for carefully preserving its traditional way of life and its legacy of bead-making and traditional pottery.

December 25 – Various dances

December 26-28 – Corn Dance

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Taos Pueblo

575-758-1028

Taos Pueblo is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America and was designated both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Site in 1992. Today, the people of Taos Pueblo continue to live according to traditional values and customs which respectful visitors are welcomed to observe and experience.

December 24 – Sundown Procession & bonfire

December 25 – Various dances

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Tesuque Pueblo

505-983-2667

Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Tesuque Pueblo is a small Tewa-speaking pueblo that has stood on its present location since 1200 AD and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tesuque has a great reverence for its traditions and continues to practice ancient customs despite.

December 24 – Dances after midnight mass

December 25 – Various dances

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Zia Pueblo

505-867-3304

The Zia Pueblo is a small Keresan-speaking pueblo situated on a rocky knoll where it blends into the landscape like a natural feature on the terrain. And while the pueblo itself is inconspicuous, its Sun symbol is familiar to all New Mexicans, for it is the official New Mexico state insignia, appearing on the state flag.

December 25 – Various dances

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