Luminarias in New Mexico

Posted on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 at 7:16pm.

To an outsider looking in, they may be confused about why the streets are lined with little paper bags on Christmas Eve.  This is a tradition that New Mexicans have known for over 300 years.  The luminarias are little brown paper bags filled with a little sand and a candle.  The tradition started long ago to welcome baby Jesus into the world.  This was a way to light his path.  To this day, the tradition is live and well among New Mexicans each and every year.  

To make luminarias, you simply take a brown paper bag, fold down the top, add a few cups of sand then place a candle in the center.  The luminarias are normally placed outside the home lining the sidewalks.  

Many neighborhoods will come together to create large, beautiful displays of luminarias for others to visit. 

For walking tours, here are the most popular areas: 

If you would like a seated tour, you can board the 50th Annual ABQ Ride Luminaria Tour on Christmas Eve.  The tour begins downtown at the convention center and visits the Albuquerque Country Club and Old Town areas.  

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