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Christmas Eve in Old Town

December 24, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Christmas Eve in Old Town is one of the most magical holiday experiences. The plaza is lit with more than 1,000 paper lanterns called luminarias.

Luminarias (Spanish for “small bonfires”) have been around since at least the 16th century. People lit bonfires along the roads to guide people to Midnight Mass on the final night of Las Posadas. This tradition was eventually brought to Santa Fe when Spanish missionaries lit paper lanterns for nine consecutive nights beginning on December 16th.

Each Christmas Eve, the Old Town and Albuquerque Country Club neighborhoods are filled with luminarias and mesmerizing Christmas light displays. Luminarias are made of paper sacks, sand, and candles and it’s a beautiful neighborhood tradition to come together and set out the luminarias to welcome visitors. Start your tour in Old Town where the gazebo and streets are covered with luminarias. Linger and listen to the carolers in the gazebo.  While in Old Town, stop by Treasure House Books to pick up a copy of Rudolfo Anaya’s “The Farolitos of Christmas”.

Then continue your journey on foot through the Country Club neighborhoods where hot air balloons can be seen “glowing” on the golf course. Wander the neighborhoods on the streets that are closed to cars and buses for a more peaceful experience.

Additionally, if you would like to experience the luminaria tour via bus, you can learn more about that here.

Lights & Luminaria Holiday Bike Tour

A special way to experience the Luminarais on Christmas Eve is to join Routes Bicycle Tours. Join Routes as they take you through the heart of Albuquerque, from the historic avenues in Old Town to some of the most impressive light displays in the Southwest. Their unique and intimate bike tours are the perfect way to experience the holiday sights, sounds, scents, and magic of New Mexico without the traditional headaches of heavy traffic and slow-moving lines. Book your tour early as they can fill up quickly!

Live Performance:

  • 6pm – 8pm: Carolers from the Mountain View Mennonite Choir



December 24, 2022
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Old Town Gazebo
200 N Plaza St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104 United States
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