Monday, September 10, 2018

Oldest Continuing Festival

I love community celebrations where friends and family come together for festivity and conviviality. Among celebrations in the United States, the Fiesta de Santa Fe is the oldest continuing festival. It began in September of 1712; 54 years before the American declaration of independence.

The most recent fiesta occurred on the city square last weekend. The Boone Gallery is only steps off the plaza so it was easy to hear plenty of music, see dancing, enjoy food, and arts & crafts. Parades and processions rounded out the activities.

In the final hours a mass was held at St. Francis Cathedral downtown. The original charter from 1712 states that fiesta is to end with a prayerful mass. I went with Amy just as bells were ringing and enjoyed the hour-long service with singing and sermon in the stone cathedral. From there, churchgoers walked with lit candles in the cool evening air through darkened streets to a hilltop nearby, where a huge cross stands guard over the city. Bonfires lit the way. The final parade was accompanied by singing and ended with prayer over the city.

Here are more photos, and videos of dancing:

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