New Mexico Traditions | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

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New Mexico Traditions

The state museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions of the Department of Cultural Affairs present New Mexico Traditions, offering events, resources, and other programming in celebration of the winter season across the Land of Enchantment.

Following is a list with more information about past and upcoming New Mexico Traditions programming:

  • November 30 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Traditional Recipes from Southern New Mexico's Past – Join the celebration as Fort Selden Historic Site and the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property present holiday recipes and reminiscences from the Taylor Family, along with a Christmas menu typical of western forts in 1800s.
    Click here for more information

  • December 1New Mexico Historic Sites
    Rabbit and Hare Hunting in New Mexico – Join Coronado Historic Site manager Matthew Barbour to learn about the history and significance of rabbit hunting by indigenous peoples in New Mexico.
    Click here for more information 

  • December 2New Mexico Historic Sites
    Rebecca's Recipe Room: Biscochitos – Join ranger Rebecca as she makes one version of the State Cookie of New Mexico: the Biscochito. You can download the recipe ahead of time and make it along side of her. We would love to hear and see how they turn out! Please email rebecca.ward@state.nm.us any photos you take of your tasty creations OR to let us know how your recipe differs!
    Click here for more information

  • December 3New Mexico Historic Sites
    Red of Green? – Tiffanie Owen, instructional coordinator at Lincoln and Fort Stanton historic sites, presents “Red or Green? New Mexican Chile Ristras.” In this episode of Seasonal Traditions of New Mexico, you’ll learn about New Mexico’s official state question and how to make a salt dough chile ristra ornament!
    Click here for more information

  • December 5New Mexico Historic Sites
    Recipes of Remembrance: Slim Fast Coffee – The former rations of Fort Sumner have survived over the past 151 years hidden in recipes shared through Indigenous oral history or practiced from generation to generation. Fort Sumner Historic Site is presenting three of these recipes, which include Slim Fast Coffee, Fry Bread, and Atolé. Each of these recipes were chosen because they are mentioned in site oral history and written history. As well, they relate to the local Hispanic population. This video shares a brief history of Fort Sumner and the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation, a Navajo oral history about what Slim Fast Coffee is and how it came to be, and a demonstration of how it is made. 
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  • December 7New Mexico Historic Sites
    Farolito or Luminaria? A Holiday Tradition – Farolitos and Luminarias are an annual holiday tradition in New Mexico. These glowing bags create a beautiful spectacle in many communities during the holiday season. In this video, instructional coordinator Alexandra McKinney tells the history of the tradition and explains the origins of the debate over its proper name. Learn how to create your own farolito and luminaria display at home – even if you don't live in New Mexico.  
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  • December 8New Mexico Historic Sites
    Carly's Craft Corner – Learn five new crafts: 2D Cabin from materials found in nature, 3D Cabin, How to Draw and Decorate Maria Chabot's New Mexico Adobe house, Create “tin” ornaments, and Baked Dough New Mexico Ornaments .Most of the materials can be found around the house or backyard.
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  • December 9New Mexico Historic Sites
    Light Among The Ruins Game – Check out our new video game! Help us virtually decorate Jemez Historic Site with farolitos for the holidays as part of New Mexico Historic Site's New Mexico Traditions. This game was developed for Jemez Historic Site in collaboration with New Mexico Highlands University's Program for Interactive Cultural Technologies. Students used drone images of the site to create an accurate 3D model of the mission ruins. Then using Unity Game Engine, they created a virtual experience that allows players to move through the 3D model, place farolitos, and then light them up. Enjoy!
    Click here for more information

  • December 10New Mexico Historic Sites
    Chillin' with Quillin' at Fort Stanton – Life on an isolated frontier fort like Fort Stanton could be a great adventure or an unbearable bore for the officers' wives who followed their husbands from post to post. Learn about the ancient art form of quilling, which may have helped these women fill those long, quiet hours, and find out how to make your own quilled snowflake.
    Click here for more information  

  • December 12 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Recipes of Remembrance: Navajo Fry Bread – The former rations of Fort Sumner have survived during the past 151 years hidden in recipes shared through Indigenous oral history or practiced from generation to generation. Fort Sumner Historic Site is presenting three of these recipes which includes Slim Fast Coffee, Fry Bread, and Atolé. Each of these recipes were chosen because they are mentioned in site oral history and written history. As well, they relate to the local Hispanic population.
    Click here for more information  

  • December 13 – Museum of International Folk Art
    Música Buena: Celebrating Yuletide Traditions in New Mexico – Enjoy the fabulous multicultural history of New Mexico's holiday tradition! This festive program features six short documentaries that were created for the exhibition Música Buena: Hispanic Folk Music of New Mexico and the concurrent exhibition Música Buena in the Wonders on Wheels mobile museum van. Available in both English and Spanish.
    Click here for more information 

  • December 14 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Create Your Own Holiday Decorations – Follow along with Fort Selden Historic Site collections specialist Ivana Montenegro, as she shows you how to make homemade decorations that reflect New Mexico Traditions.
    Click here for more information 

  • December 15 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Pueblo Sugar Cookies – Learn how to make Pueblo sugar cookies with Jemez Historic Site ranger Brenda.
    Click here for more information 

  • December 16 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Virtual Tour of Los Luceros Hacienda – Explore our 360-degree virtual tour of the Los Luceros Hacienda decorated for the holidays. You can move through the Sala Grande and discover objects and information about the history of the home, Mary Wheelwright, and holiday traditions of New Mexico..
    Click here for more information 

  • December 17 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Las Posadas in Lincoln County – In 2010, Instructional Coordinator Tiffanie Owen had the memorable experience of attending a posada in the historic La Iglesia de San Patricio church, built in 1875. Learn more about the long history and tradition of Las Posadas, and how to make your own poinsettia posada candle.
    Click here for more information 

  • December 18 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Recipes of Remembrance: Atole – The former rations of Fort Sumner have survived during the past 151 years hidden in recipes shared through Indigenous oral history or practiced from generation to generation. Fort Sumner Historic Site is presenting three of these recipes which includes Slim Fast Coffee, Fry Bread, and Atolé. Each of these recipes were chosen because they are mentioned in site oral history and written history. As well, they relate to the local Hispanic population. Click here for more information

  • December 19 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Season's Greetings from Jemez Pueblo – Join us for a special event from the Pueblo of Jemez, which we were graciously given permission to film on location by Tribal Leadership. Instructional Coordinator Marlon Magdalena gives a special flute concert followed by the Seasonal Dance Group from Jemez and Zuni Pueblos, who will present the Buffalo Dance. 
    Click here for more information

  • December 21 – New Mexico Historic Sites
    Holiday Recollections with J. Paul Taylor – The holidays can be a special time of year filled with family, friends, traditions, and memories. Join J. Paul Taylor and his children as they share about New Mexico holiday traditions and special memories. 
    Click here for more information
      
  • December 31 – National Hispanic Cultural Center
    New Year’s Eve around the Hispanic World – Join the National Hispanic Cultural Center in traveling the Hispanic World via Zoom this New Year’s Eve.
    Click here for more information
     
  • New Mexico Museum of Space History
    Holidays in Space – Check out this video of astronauts celebrating holiday traditions in space.
    Click here for more information

  • New Mexico History Museum
    Make a Printer’s Hat at Home! – One of the annual traditions at the New Mexico History Museum's Palace Press is making printer's hats for the many children and adults who come celebrate Christmas at the Palace in Santa Fe. Of course, the Palace Press is closed right now, but you can bring part of this tradition home this year. In this classic video from 2009, Palace Press curator Tom Leech demonstrates how you can make a printer's hat for yourself and your family.
    Click here for more information

  • New Mexico Museum of Art
    Holiday Open House – An annual tradition at the New Mexico Museum of Art is the Holiday Open House, which features a puppet show and activities to honor Santa Fe artist Gustave Baumann and his famous wooden marionettes. This year, we're bringing the celebration to you! On our website you'll find a video of "A Holiday Dance-Off Party for Pappa Gus" and learn how to make your own Baumann-inspired marionettes at home.
    Click here for more information 

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