The Farolito Walk: Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

There are many holiday traditions in New Mexico. One of my favorites is the farolito walk on Christmas Eve in Santa Fe. The Canyon Road art galleries are transformed with farolitos, lights, and decorations. The breeze carries the smell of piñón wood bonfires and fireplaces and the sound of carols from groups large and small.

What the heck is a farolito you ask? Basically, they’re candles in bags. Traditionally, they are small, lunch-sized, paper bags with a layer of sand lit by votive candles. Modern versions are plastic with electric lights. They light walkways, walls, rooftops, etc. In Albuquerque, we usually call them luminarias, but luminarias are small bonfires. Luminarias are said to have lit the way for the Three Wise Men as they sought the baby Jesus. Either way, farolitos or luminarias are traditional holiday decorations in New Mexico.

Photo count: 26

Blog: Happy Holidays

Posted: December 28, 2011


A Home Decorated with FarolitosA Decorated Doorway #1Lights and Farolitos #1Red Chile LightsA Tall SnowmanA Teddy BearLights and Farolitos #2Lights and Farolitos #3The NutcrackerChristmas Trees and PresentsAn Indian Maiden, Farolitos, and LightsA Snowman and FarolitosA Path Lit By FarolitosA Decorated DoorwayA Home with Red Chile LightsA Decorated Doorway #2A Decorated Doorway #3A Home with FarolitosLights and Farolitos #4Lights and Farolitos #5The Heart Gate and LightsSanta Fe Plaza LightsStore Windows and LightsThe Inn at Lorretto Decorated with Farolitos A Christmas TreeA Church Steeple, Bell, and Cross