Farmer, rancher, community leader, and Mountain Range Supply and Transport owner Bernie Torres, along with his friends will once again be visiting locals in the northern Taos County area to ring in the new year with the unique tradition of Los Dias.
This year, the group started at the Amalia Community Center at 8 a.m. where locals prepared food and goodies for the traveling musical group as they start their tour to serenade locals, wishing good will and blessings to families, friends, and the greater community.
The musical group then traveled to Questa where they visited Berlinda Trujillo’s home, which was extra special considering it is also her birthday. The family surrounded Berlinda as she was honored by the traditional songs of old. “That’s the beauty of the tradition, we visit people who stay safe and warm in their homes. It’s really just an honor for us as much as it is for them,” Bernie says
After their trip to Berlinda’s home, they went to Barbara and Evaristo’s home where the family gathered warmly as they were serenaded by Bernie and friends.
Bernie says his favorite part of the Los Dias tradition is being blessed with Vino de Capulin (chokecherry wine) as they continue their journey from home to home.
This tradition dates back to Spain which originated from El Dia de Los Manueles. Musical groups would travel from house to house in Spain, signing songs for neighbors in the name of Emmanuel. In the early 1900’s, various groups would travel around from house to house in northern Taos County but currently, Bernie’s group is the last remaining traveling musical group who participates in Dando los Dias on New Year’s Day.
“The group sings poetic verses, old favorites, and spontaneous and humorous ones, composed and personalized for individuals, families, or community groups. It makes people feel unique and special. The singing begins outside the homes and continues when musicians are invited inside where all together, they celebrate el Ano Nuevo with pastelitos, pastries, biscochitos, wine, and when lucky, a tragito of hard liquor,” says Natalie Torres Herrera of her brother’s group.