Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year – Laguna Indian San Jose Day

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 18 and 19 September

Laguna Indian San Jose Day

During the late Summer and early Fall, the southwestern part of the United States supports an array of fiestas that honor various Catholic saints and feature elaborate processions, markets, dancing, and entertainment. The Laguna festival honoring Saint Joseph is a prime example. The pueblo of Laguna, some 45 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was established in 1697. Soon after, a Catholic mission was built there and became the official site of the festival. The origins of the festival have been lost over time, but more than likely they revolved around the mission’s patron Saint Joseph and the plentiful late Summer harvest. Today the festival still attracts thousands of people for the two-day celebration. The fiesta begins with a procession for Saint Joseph from the mission to the fairgrounds, which is followed by a noontime harvest and corn dance. After the official opening of the festival, the adults flock to the enormous market for the exchange of local products and food, while the children enjoy carnival rides and games. The fiesta concludes with demonstration dances performed by local Indian tribes and the return of the statue of Saint Joseph to the mission.

 

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