Acoma Pueblo San Esteban Feast Day Celebration

September 2nd, 2020 | $275 per person + tax for party of two | $225 per person + tax for party of three or more

8 minimum ppl & 14 maximum ppl

Tour meets at 8:00 AM in Hotel Chaco lobby in Old Town Albuquerque and ends around 3:00 PM at the same location.

Includes Acoma Pueblo entry fee, guided interpretive experience and a gourmet meal at Y’aak’a Cafe

Acoma Pueblo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in North America, celebrates many feast days throughout the year. Come join us on September 2nd for their San Esteban Feast Day!

This feast day celebrates San Esteban (Saint Stephen), the patron saint of Acoma’s Sky City, and is the patron saint not only of the pueblo but also of the mission church that was built in his honor. At this feast day you’ll get to witness the celebration of his namesake.

A pueblo feast day celebrates gratitude and Puebloan blessings and is a chance to feast on the great crops and hunts of the summer. By dancing sacred dances, they honor the gods and give thanks for the bounty of the harvest. Feast day celebrations combine distinctly Puebloan traditions steeped in American Indian spiritualism intermixed with more modern Catholic beliefs. This extraordinary tour will give you an opportunity to touch an ancient yet presently existing past.

We’ll pick you up at Hotel Chaco’s lobby at 8 AM where your guide will get you set up for the one hour drive West along I-40 to Acoma Pueblo’s Sky City Cultural Center. Acoma Pueblo provides a shuttle that will drive you to the Pueblo, referred to as Sky City because of the incredible rocky 367-foot precipice it sits atop.

Once in the Pueblo, you will meet Puebloan families, be inspired by the unique architecture and see sites like sacred Kivas and the Puebloan motif decorated by San Esteban del Rey Mission Church.

San Esteban del Rey Mission Church is the oldest surviving European church in New Mexico. It was built between 1629 and 1641 and it is a beautiful architectural hybrid of Spanish Colonial and Puebloan styles. Many of the 40-foot-long ponderosa pine timbers that line the ceiling are original and were brought to the mesa on foot by captive Puebloan people. Once trees were cut from the San Mateo Mountains, these “holy” logs were no longer allowed to touch the ground, so it is said that the Puebloans had to sleep at night with the logs stretched across their chests.

The church is open to all visitors and worshippers and this is a special opportunity for you to experience firsthand Puebloan traditions and practices. You’ll get to see dances, watch artisans creating pottery & jewelry, eat traditional Puebloan food, and be immersed in this unique and ancient culture.

Throughout the Pueblo many of the 13 clans of Acoma will be dancing their traditional Puebloan dances that have been danced for a millennium. Drumming and singing will vibrate through the air around you as headdresses bob and dancers step gingerly forward with prayers of peace. Many of the dances taking place will honor the harvest of the season.

After you’ve experienced the feast day you will be invited to either ride the shuttle or walk (recommended!) back down to the Sky City Cultural Center. If you choose to walk, an ancient staircase that was hand carved into the sandstone mesa hundreds of years ago will guide you down to the desert floor. Then you’ll proceed to the Cultural Center where you’ll enjoy a specially prepared gourmet lunch and have the opportunity to explore the Haak’u Museum.

If you’re up for an enchanting spiritually oriented experience with an interesting mix of Spanish and Indigenous traditional observances and you happen to be available September 2nd  then this special annual event is just for you!