San Geronimo Feast Day

San Geronimo Feast Day

September 29-30
San Geronimo Feast Day is the feast day for St. Jerome, the patron saint of Taos Pueblo, probably the best known of the 19 Indian pueblos (villages) in New Mexico. For 1,000 years, the Tiwa-speaking Taos Indians have lived at or near the present pueblo. In the 1540s Spanish soldiers arrived, thinking they had discovered one of the lost cities of gold. The gold-brown adobe, multi-story structures are the largest existing pueblo structures of their kind in the U.S., unchanged from the way they looked to the Spaniards, and are still the home of about 1,500 residents.
The feast day commences on the evening of Sept. 29 with a sundown dance, followed by vespers in the San Geronimo Mission. On the following day, there are foot races in the morning, and in the afternoon, frightening looking "clowns" with black-and-white body paint and wearing black-and-white costumes climb a pole; the act has secret religious significance to the Taos. An Indian trade fair offers Indian crafts and foods for sale.
The Taos Pueblo is also known for its Christmas celebrations, lasting from Christmas Eve through Dec. 29. On Christmas Eve, there is a pine torch procession from the church through the plaza, and on Christmas Day, the Deer Dance is often performed.
CONTACTS:
Taos Pueblo
P.O. Box 1846
Taos, NM 87571
505-758-1028
www.taospueblo.com
SOURCES:
IndianAmer-1989, pp. 289, 319
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