Tradiciones: Raices

Photo Gallery: ¡Que vivan Las Fiestas!

By Scott Gerdes
special@taosnews.com
Posted 10/1/19

Every year since 1927, for two days over the third weekend of July, Fiestas de Taos transforms Historic Taos Plaza from a tourist-heavy destination to a place of memory, return to roots and re-energizing for Taoseños. It’s a time for locals to take a respite from work and celebrate the holy days.

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Tradiciones: Raices

Photo Gallery: ¡Que vivan Las Fiestas!

Posted

Every year since 1927, for two days over the third weekend of July, Fiestas de Taos transforms Historic Taos Plaza from a tourist-heavy destination to a place of memory, return to roots and re-energizing for Taoseños. It’s a time for locals to take a respite from work and celebrate the holy days.

Fiestas de Taos is an embedded community celebration honoring the two patron saints of Taos, Santa Ana (St. Anne) and Santiago de Compostela (St. James).

“The original Spanish colonists established their first church of San Jerónimo at Taos Pueblo. Padre Martinez then changed the seat of ecclesiastical power to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Taos proper,” wrote Larry Torres for The Taos News. “But the festival that honors Santiago and Santa Ana seem to transcend both of these historical facts. The Taos Fiestas honor the two saints annually. The first day is dedicated to Santiago, who is the patron saint of Spain. St. Anne, dedicated on the second day, was chosen from the beginning of time to be the mother of The Virgin Mary.”

The exact year of the first Taos celebration is not readily known, but the festival’s beginnings can be traced back to Spanish warriors.

“Our research has alluded to the fact that the first conquistadors to arrive in the area in the Catholic tradition adopted the patron saint of Spain, Santiago de Compostela from Galicia, Spain as the patron of Taos,” said Fiesta Council President Don Francisco Trujillo II. “His feast day is July 25 as celebrated by Roman Catholics. He is also recognized as the patron saint of horsemen and pilgrims. Santa Ana was also adopted as a patron saint of the area since her feast day is celebrated the following day. It was for centuries a Roman Catholic observance that turned into a community-wide celebration somewhere around the turn of the century (1900s).”

Other communities that celebrate the same Fiesta Feast Days are Mora, New Mexico and San Luis, Colorado.

Over all these years, not much has been amended — traditional music, dances, Tio Vivo, parades, food and trinkets for sale — well, maybe fashion trends have changed.

Shown here are images of Fiestas de Taos taken nearly 80 years apart and past Royal Courts.

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