Cover illustration from narrative on Los Días: An Hispanic Holiday Tradition
Los Días: An Hispanic Holiday Tradition
Dando los días is a beautiful centuries
old Hispano New Year's serenading tradition of the San Luis Valley
of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. It originated with
European serenading traditions and may have been reinforced in this
region by indigenous traditions in which songs greet the morning
sun. Los días (as people often refer to it) blends the
tradition of going together in an informal celebration of
thankfulness for the year passing in joyful welcome to the coming
Beginning on New Year's Eve and continuing through
New Year's Day, folk singers and musicians travel from house to
house performing songs sung only for
Los Días, as well as
old favorites and holiday music for families as a gesture of good
will. Impromptu ballads speak personally to the family and express
wishes for a prosperous and rewarding New Year. The performance
begins outside the house and continues when the musicians are
invited into the home, where they also share conversation, wine and
a meal comprised of New and Old World recipes that take on a ritual
significance in this context.
The significance of
Los Días is its role in
the affirmation of community unity and harmony, and in emphasizing
humor as a necessary part of coping with the problems of daily
life. This tradition, which creates bridges of compassion between
neighbors, helps community members feel unique and special, and
supportive of each other.
Project documentation includes a 27-page report on
the history and meaning of
Los Días in the San Luis
Originally submitted by: Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.