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Fiestas de Santa Fe & Zozobra

A fiesta like no other...

Forever steeped in Spanish history and culture, Santa Fe has been celebrating downtown together every autumn for over 300 years.  In what is the country’s oldest civic celebration, our annual Fiestas de Santa Fe is truly a unique spectacle for any visitor to The City Different!
Fiestas de Santa Fe
Photo courtesy of Katie Johnson | KatiesCamera.net
This week-long festival marks the celebration of the reconquest of Santa Fe by the Spanish in 1692 from the Pueblo Indians. Led by Don Diego de Vargas, the Governor of New Mexico at the time, the Spanish “peacefully” took back the city after 12 years of exile that started with the Pueblo Revolt.  Every September, cries of “Viva la Fiesta!” and “Que Viva!” ring throughout the streets as we pay homage to our heritage, our history and our coming together as a community.  

Fiestas de Santa Fe - La La Conquistadora w/ the Caballeros de Vargas
Photo courtesy of Katie Johnson | KatiesCamera.net

The start of Fiestas begins with the Novena Masses of thanksgiving, in which the newly elected Don Diego de Vargas and La Reina de Santa Fe are knighted and coronated.  There is a procession which takes La Conquistadora (a small wooden statue of The Virgin Mary and the first Madonna brought to what is now the US in 1626) from the Cathedral Basilica to the Rosario Chapel, at Rosario Cemetery in Santa Fe.  There are 9 Masses throughout the week before La Conquistadora is taken back to the Cathedral to kick off the festivities.  While traditionally we gather to celebrate the Spanish reconquest of the city from the Pueblo Indians, the festival has come to encompass a children’s pet parade, the Hysterical/Historical Parade, mariachi’s and music on the plaza, arts and crafts festivals, the Fiesta Ball and the burning of Zozobra.


Having a bad year?  Then this may be the perfect time to join our Santa Fe festivities.  On the Friday before Labor Day each September and to kick off 3 days of celebration, there is an incredible burning of a 50 foot marionette puppet named Zozobra at Fort Marcy Park.  While Zozobra literally translates to “anxiety” in Spanish, it is his other name “Old Man Gloom” that describes him best.  Stuffed with bushels of shredded paper, which traditionally included old police reports, paid-off mortgage papers, divorce papers, and slips of paper with tales of woe, this giant puppet literally embodies gloom.

Photos courtesy of Katie Johnson | KatiesCamera.net & Zacarías

These days people are encouraged to write down exactly what is causing them gloom to leave in the “gloom box” in the weeks leading up to the burn.  These worry-filled boxes are then left at the foot of Zozobra to burn alongside him.  It is through this tradition that Santa Feans have been able to shed their worries and troubles of the year past in flames and celebration.  

When are Zozobra & the Fiestas de Santa Fe?

Fiestas begin with the burning of Zozobra.  The 94th Burning of Will Shuster's Zozobra takes place on the Friday before Labor Day, August 31, 2018. 
They conclude with the Fiesta Fine Arts and Crafts Market (Fiesta Weekend) on Labor Day Weekend September 1 @ 9:00 am to September 3 @ 5:00 pm at the Santa Fe Plaza.

Where can I find more information?

You can find more information at www.santafefiesta.org or for a list of all the events please see here

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Be a part of the history, romance and intrigue that has made Santa Fe famous!


Quiet Luxury at El Carozon | Santa Fe Vacation Rentals from Adobe DestinationsQuiet Luxury at El Corazon

Beautifully appointed two bedroom and two and a half baths.  You won’t find a better location to the Santa Fe Plaza!  Come stay at Quiet Luxury at El Corazon where you will find a well-appointed condo offering all the Santa Fe flavors you want to enjoy.   For a three bedroom option, you may choose Downtown Delight which is accessible from the guest bedroom to the deck which adjoins the upstairs unit. The décor and original art reflects the culture of our beautiful southwest. This condo is approximately 1500 sq. ft. with two private patios.  More Info

Suite 16 | Santa Fe Vacation Rentals from Adobe DestinationsSuite 16

Classic two story 3 bedroom, 3 bath condominium  in the popular South Capitol neighborhood is ready for your arrival!  Traditional features include Saltillo tile, two kiva fireplaces, Mexican talavera tile and viga ceilings. An extraordinary feature are up-cycled beams that were once the trestle bars that turned the direction of boxcars at the Santa Fe Depot. The open concept living room with high ceilings and fireplace adjoins the dining room and kitchen with breakfast bar.   Enjoy sunsets from the upstairs deck off the second master bedroom or enjoy the chiminea on the patio to warm you after the sunset.   More Info

Downtown MagicaDowntown Magica | Vacation Rentals from Adobe Destinations

This historic, downtown one bedroom charmer was renovated in the spring of 2017 but retains the original wood floors, vigas and new diamond finish plaster along with new appliances.  If you are looking for one of the best places to stay in Santa Fe close to the Plaza, this is the vacation rental for you!   When looking for Santa Fe accommodations, this lovingly restored home with new heating and cooling and great furnishings and decor is a sure delight. There is plenty of parking and the Santa Fe Plaza is a short stroll away from this perfect pied-a-terre.  More Info

Live like a local with the perfect Santa Fe vacation rental! 

Adobe Destinations encourages all our guests to come experience the charm, colors, traditions and culture that make Fiestas de Santa Fe!  We offer beautiful homes downtown near the Santa Fe PlazaCanyon Road, The Railyard District as well as within the foothills near Ft. Marcy where Zozobra is burned.

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Steps from Canyon Road..

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