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Phone: 866-426-6901

www.rivertradingpost.com

314 N. River Street

East Dundee, IL 60118

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Arts of Native America

Each December 24, as the gold and purple hues of the sunset flood ancient

Taos Pueblo, the bell of San Geronimo Church calls everyone to Vespers.

Hundreds of people crowd the frigid plaza amid stacks of fragrant pitch wood

that will be set ablaze as the sun goes down. Thus begins the celebration of

the most holy Christian day where traditional Catholicism is blended

beautifully with ancient American Indian spiritual beliefs.

Following the vespers, which are presided over by the Archbishop of Santa

Fe, a procession leaves the church led by the archbishop and followed by six

men carrying a dias that holds the statue of the Virgin Mary.

At the front of the procession,

pueblo men carrying rifles shoot

live ammunition into the air to announce her arrival. Drummers follow the procession

along with throngs of people there to see the bonfires where orange flames light up the night

sky.

As one of the Taos people put it, “The beauty, mystery and power of the scene are

profound.”

The Taos Pueblo Community welcomes everyone (without cameras or cell phones) to the

spectacular Christmas Eve pageant.

Taos Pueblo children prepare to ignite a bonfire on

Christmas Eve

San Geronimo Church, Taos Pueblo