Caroling, tree lightings, and other seasonal events ignite New Mexico this Christmas. It all begins with the Lighting of Ledoux Street, Dec. 12. The annual winter event in Taos was featured on "Good Morning America," and highlights this historic street that brings the community and guests together over the holidays. Luminarias (traditional brown-bag candle lanterns) and farolitos (small bonfires) line the street and illuminate it with a dreamlike glow.

Free music, food and other entertainment offerings underline the holiday spirit. Shops, museums, and galleries keep their doors open late for shoppers and people who want to come in from the cold. Santa also makes a special guest appearance at the Harwood Museum of Art/UNM on Ledoux.

The Christmas Eve Procession of the Virgin at sundown draws crowds to San Geronimo church Dec. 24. Everyone assembles just outside the archway with lit torches. Men with rifles fire into the air, and play hand drums and sing as they move through a sea of people. The statue of Mary is dressed as the Bride of Heaven. They carry her on a platform decked with green pine bows.

Native American dancers and singers follow as they move Mary around the plaza. She returns to the Church and the bonfires subside. The night is over. [R454R, Taos Ski Valley] has their own light procession, if you choose to miss this mesmerizing event. Hang out in the base area beginning at 6 p.m. and watch as skiers make their way down the mountain in the dark with torchlight flares.

For information. Photo courtesy of Rankin Harvey.