Native American Pueblo Dances, Feast Days, Festivals and Special Events in New Mexico

A schedule and directory

New Mexico's 19 Pueblos and wide swathes of tribal lands offer visitors an unrivaled glimpse into Native American culture, both historical and contemporary. Very often, access to these pueblos comes in the form of feasts days, dance ceremonies, festivals and many other special events. Below you’ll find about 100 ways to explore this essential element of this region’s cultural history

(Learn more about pueblo etiquette)

Pueblo feast days usually take place on the same date every year, while other special events take place during specific weekends throughout the year. Please note that event dates can change and/or be closed to the public with little or no notice. Many dances and events are scheduled based on the decisions of pueblo leaders, and scheduling can be inconsistent from year to year. “It’s up to the tribal war chiefs to decide what dances are going to be held and when,” according to one pueblo visitor center representative.

When planning to attend a pueblo event, contact the visitor center or pueblo office beforehand. Find a complete list of pueblo telephone numbers and websites below.

January

1

  • Turtle Dance – Taos Pueblo
  • Transfer of Canes to new officials and various dances – Picuris Pueblo
  • Pueblo Corn Dances – Cochiti Pueblo

6

  • King's Day Celebration in honor of new tribal officers: Antelope, Buffalo, Deer dances – Most pueblos
  • Evening Firelight Dances (Occasional) – San Ildefonso Pueblo

23

25

 

February

2

  • Candelaria Feast Day – Picuris Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo

First Weekend

  • Governor's Feast Day and various dances – Old Acoma Pueblo

Second Weekend

  • Deer dances – San Juan Pueblo

End of the Month

 

March

19

 

April

Easter Weekend Dances

  • Many Pueblos

Every Fourth Weekend

  • Gathering of the Nations (One of the country’s largest powwows) – Albuquerque Convention Center

 

May

1

  • St. Phillip Feast Day – San Felipe Pueblo

3

  • Santa Cruz Feast Day with Corn Dance, blessing of the fields and foot races – Taos Pueblo

Memorial Day Weekend

  • Jemez Red Rocks Arts and Crafts Show – Jemez Pueblo

 

June

First Saturday in June

  • Blessing of the Fields – Tesuque Pueblo

13

  • San Antonio Feast Day (various dances) – Sandia Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Picuris Pueblo, Taos Pueblo, Santa Ana Pueblo

24

  • San Juan Feast Day – Taos Pueblo
  • St. John the Baptist Feast Day – Ohkay Owingeh

 

July

4

  • Celebration of the Waterfall – Nambe Pueblo

14

  • St. Bonaventure Feast Day – Cochiti Pueblo

Second weekend in July

  • Annual Intertribal Powwow – Taos Pueblo

Third Weekend in July

  • Little Beaver Celebration with pro-Indian and open Rodeo, powwow, pony express race, parade, dances and more – Jicarilla Apache

25

26

  • Santa Ana Feast Day – Santa Ana Pueblo, Taos Pueblo
  • Seama Village Feast – Laguna Pueblo

 

August

First Week

4

  • St. Dominic Feast Day – Santo Domingo Pueblo

9

9-10

10

  1. San Lorenzo Feast Day with foot races, dances and pole climbing – Picuris Pueblo
  2. San Lorenzo Feast Day – Acoma Pueblo (Acomita), Laguna Pueblo

12

  • St. Clare Feast Day – Santa Clara Pueblo

15

Third Week

September

First Week

2

  • St. Stephen Feast Day – Acoma Pueblo

4

  • St. Augustine Feast Day – Pueblo of Isleta

8

Labor Day Weekend

14-15

  • Go-Jii-Yah Feast, annual celebration with foot races, powwow and country rodeo – Jicarilla Apache

19

  • St. Joseph Feast Day with Buffalo, Eagle and Social Dances – Laguna Pueblo

25

29

  • San Geronimo Eve Vespers – Taos Pueblo

30

  • San Geronimo Feast Day with dances, races, pole climb, arts and crafts fair – Taos Pueblo

 

October

First week

4

  • San Francisco de Assisi Feast Day – Nambe Pueblo

11

  • Ancient Way Fall Festival and Arts Market – Zuni Pueblo

Second Weekend

17

 

November

12

  • San Diego Feast Day – Tesuque Pueblo, Jemez Pueblo

27

Last week of November

 

December

First Week

  • Shalako dance and festival (Closed to the public) – Zuni Pueblo

12

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day – Pojoaque Pueblo
  • Bow and Arrow, Comanche and Buffalo Dances – Tesuque Pueblo
  • Matachina Dances – Jemez Pueblo

24

  • Procession of the Virgin Mary – Taos Pueblo
  • Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and Dance – Tesuque Pueblo
  • Christmas Eve Mass and Buffalo, Deer and Antelope Dances – Nambe Pueblo
  • Sundown Torchlight Procession of the Virgin Vespers and Matachina Dances – Picuris Pueblo
  • Luminarias display (2,000 paper bag lanterns line the road leading to Acoma Pueblo)

25*

  • Various Dances and Matachinas Dance – Taos Pueblo
  • Matachina Dances – Picuris Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh
  • Various Dances – Jemez Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, San Felipe Pueblo, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara Pueblo, Tesuque Pueblo, Zia Pueblo
  • *Many pueblos offer Christmastime events. Please see our phone list at the bottom of the page to contact specific pueblos.

25-28

  • Traditional Dances inside San Esteban del Rey Mission on the mesa – Acoma Pueblo

25-29

26

  • Turtle Dance – Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo
  • Buffalo Dances – Jemez Pueblo

28

 

Phone Numbers and Websites

Acoma: 1-800-747-0181 | www.skycity.com

Cochiti: 505-465-2244 | www.pueblodecochiti.org

Isleta Pueblo: 505-869-3111 | www.isletapueblo.com

Jemez Pueblo: 575-834-7235 | www.jemezpueblo.com

Laguna Pueblo: 505-552-6654 | www.lagunapueblo.org

Nambe Pueblo: 505-455-2036 | http://nambepueblo.org/

Ohkay Owingeh: 505-852-4400 | www.ohkayowingeh-nsn.gov/members.htm

Picuris Pueblo: 575-587-2519 | www.picurispueblo.org/

Pojoaque Pueblo: 505 819 2276 | http://www.pojoaque.org

Sandia Pueblo: 505-867-3317 | www.sandiaPueblo.nsn.us

San Felipe Pueblo: 505-867-3381 | http://www.indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/sanfelipe.html

San Ildefonso Pueblo: 505-455-2273 | http://www.sanipueblo.org/

Santa Ana Pueblo: 505-867-3301 | www.santaana.org

Santa Clara Pueblo: 505-753-7330 | http://www.indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/santaclara.html

Santo Domingo Pueblo: 505-465-2214 | www.santodomingotribe.com

Taos Pueblo: (575) 758-1028 | http://www.taospueblo.com/

Tesuque Pueblo: 505-983-2667 or 505-455-2467 | http://www.indianpueblo.org/19pueblos/tesuque.html

Zia Pueblo: 505-867-3304 | www.zia.com/home/zia_info.html

Zuni Pueblo: 505-782-4481 | www.ashiwi.org

Here’s a link to a good list of contacts for tribal government offices from the New Mexican Indian Affairs Department.

This list was compiled from independent sources and information on newmexico.org and indianpueblo.org.

Postcard images from The Tichnor Brothers Collection of the Boston Public Library

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