314 N. River Street
East Dundee, IL 60118
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
As one of the Taos people put it, “The beauty, mystery and power of the scene are
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
San Geronimo Church, Taos Pueblo