Walk under the stars with traditional farolitos lighting the way through the historic San José de los Jémez Mission of Giusewa Pueblo during “Light Among the Ruins.”
The event on Saturday, Dec. 9, features about 1,500 farolitos, or luminarias, lining the ruins and the mission at the Jemez Historic Site.
“(Guests) will walk toward the ruins there and San José de los Jémez Mission Church and the pathway, which is 1.5 miles,” said Erica Asmus-Otero, communications director for the Village of Jemez Springs. “Most of it is lit with the farolitos. My understanding is the pueblo had volunteers. The historic site gets volunteers who help out with the farolitos and lay them out, and then the Jemez Pueblo dancers will perform and play Native American music around the bonfire. It’s a spiritual event. It’s a great thing to see. It’s a very sensory experience.”
The event was born in 1996 when Tanya Struble got together with about 10 members of the community and put farolitos along the walkways of the Jemez State Monument, which is now the Jemez Historic Site. Struble has been on various community boards and involved in community organizations. She also co-owns the Jemez Hot Springs.
“The idea stemmed from a 1968 issue of New Mexico Magazine (Struble) came across about how Jemez Springs used to display handmade cutouts of Santa and the Nativity all over the village and around Soda Dam,” Asmus-Otero said. “She says she wanted to bring back that holiday tradition and had local artists make new cutouts.”
“Light Among the Ruins” has grown bigger each year. Last year’s event welcomed 3,200 people. That is triple the amount of visitors it had usually gotten in the past, according to Asmus-Otero, who is expecting more this year.