Scene of Las Posadas actors in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Las Posadas 2023

DECEMBER 10, 2023


Santa Fe throws the 47th annual Las Posadas, a city-sized Christmas play with Mary, Joseph, devils, angels and a lesson about giving and sharing.

Around Christmas, we all act a little nicer. Well, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, every year a crowd of locals and visitors re-enact the biblical scene that established the holiday’s culture of good behavior. The holiday tradition of Las Posadas is a portrayal of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter before the birth of Jesus. A pair of volunteers, who play the role of the humble couple, walk around the Santa Fe Plaza from the Palace of the Governors to seek a place to rest, with the crowd gathering around them and following them through their search. The loving pair stop on each corner but only find denial from a group of actors playing the devil. For an additional layer of drama, the evil beasts tease the seekers, while crowd members, whose faces are illuminated by candlelight, hisses at the devils. 

This one-night-only event originated in Spain where it was considered a religious observation and lasted nine days, from December 16 to December 24,  Christmas Eve. Although Santa Fe’s celebration is the most famous in the area, Las Posadas festivities are frequent in Northern New Mexico towns because of the historic influence of Spanish Catholic culture. 

After receiving numerous closed doors, the couple is blessed by an angel who appears among the crowd and guides them to the courtyard of the Palace of the Governors. Here, participants enjoy the rest of the procession, celebrating the spirit of giving and sharing with hot ciders, cookies and Christmas carols.

The Specs

  • Attendance numbers are not available.
  • The event is free and open to the public.
  • If devils and angels are not for you and you want to celebrate Christmas in a more Victorian style, here’s Fifty Grande preview of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair. And here‘s our guide to Santa Fe.


What is the closest airport to Las Posadas?

The closest international airport to get to Las Posadas is Albuquerque International Sunport

Is the festival family-friendly?

Yes, kids of any age are welcome. 

What time does the procession start?

The procession starts at 5:30 p.m. on December 10. Arrive at the Plaza at 5:00 p.m. if you want to join the candlelit crowd. 

Will the History Museum  at the Palace of Governors be open?

The History Museum will be open only until 3 p.m. that day.


BY Anna Montagner