Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Holidays Far and Wide: A New Mexican Christmas

As all of you may know, the United States is a huge country with various cultures and traditions. New Mexico, where I am from, is among one of the most unique states because we have specific Christmas traditions that are not seen anywhere else.

New Mexican Christmases are a mixture of Hispanic, Native American and American-European customs. 

New Mexicans decorate their houses and streets with luminarias, which are lanterns that are created with placing candles in scoops (piles) of sand in paper bags. Luminarias are traditionally from Mexico. 

In addition to decorating homes, city governments and businesses decorate public spaces, such as parks, shopping districts and churches. Luminarias are lit for a few weeks in December, so families walk around at night to enjoy them. 

From Christmas Day (December 25th) until New Years Day (January 1st), many people watch Native American dances. There are dozens of different Native American tribes in New Mexico and each has their own distinct culture.

The following link are pictures from the Matachine Dances at Ohkay Owingeh, which is also known as San Juan Pueblo (like here)! These dances are held on Christmas day.

Christmases in the United States are very different. It's not green pine trees and Santa Claus for everyone!

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