Farolito Walk on Canyon Road

Canyon Road Farolito Walk in Santa Fe, NM (December 24, 2014)

Canyon Road Farolito Walk in Santa Fe, NM (December 24, 2014)

I lived in Santa Fe for four years in the 1990s and since then I’ve returned often, but until this Wednesday I’d never before witnessed the Christmas Eve Farolito Walk on Canyon Road. And what an enchanted experience it is!

Although the photos that my wife and I snapped do no justice to the sights, sounds, smells and joy of the the Farolito Walk, I hope that they’ll at least provoke your curiosity enough to inspire your own Christmas Eve visit to Santa Fe.

One of Santa Fe’s most beloved holiday traditions, the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, lights up the hearts and souls of thousands who promenade this famous path on Christmas Eve.

Small, sand-filled, paper bags illuminated with votive candles line the historic neighborhood streets and adobe walls. Carolers gather around the farolitos Spanish for paper lantern; diminutive of farol, lantern; from faro, lighthouse, lantern; from Latin pharus, from Pharus, Pharos or luminarias small bonfires, and sing for joy as they warm themselves, and our hearts, from the cold night. (Santa Fe’s Farolito Walk on Canyon Road)

The Farolito Walk is focused around Canyon Road, but Acequia Madre and much of Garcia Street are also lined with farolitos and luminarios. Many festive revelers process around a large loop starting at the bottom of Canyon Road, proceeding up to Monte Sol and then looping back down Aceqia Madre. The smell of burning piñon and both familiar and unfamiliar Christmas carols invite lingering. Strangers greet one another with spirited holiday wishes, and galleries offer treats and a chance to view art by night.

The following snapshots offer a fuzzy glimpse at the Farolito Walk. (You can click on any image to enlarge.)

Farolito Walk 2012

We didn’t record any video footage, but this YouTube video by Lou Novick nicely captures the Farolito Walk.

Farolito Walk 2009

And here’s another video of the Farolito Walk, this one uploaded to YouTube by Jay Empty.