Chili Ristras

I love nearly everything about New Mexico. I love New Mexico’s geography and landscapes. Love the vast expanses of land. Love the road-runners. Love the decor. Love the Spanish and Indian history. Love the traditions.

This time of year in New Mexico you will see Chili Ristras everywhere. I remember as a child visiting my grandmother and I would see these hanging on her back porch. As a child, the long strands of drying chilies were something really beautiful. I see the long strands of Chili Ristras sold here on the roadside and this year I simple must stop and get one! It brings back good memories of my grandmother and many good times in New Mexico.

Chili Ristras are one of the best known decorations in New Mexico. The tradition of hanging them is hundreds of years old. The start of this wonderful tradition was simply a way for people to dry and store their chilies.

The Chili Ristras that I see locally are the long strings of chilies, but in New Mexico they make wonderful wreaths that they hang for the fall and winter holidays. I think they are so very lovely!

My friend took a photo of these last week in New Mexico. I am now on a mission! This weekend I will look for these. I am sure they will give me inspiration for all the upcoming holidays and I am ready for some festive in my life! I am already thinking that I should buy more than one strand and use them to decorate my fireplace mantle this year. It would be something different and fun. Yes, I am definitely on a mission!


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  1. To me, each state has a color. New Mexico’s is pastel. It’s a beautiful state. Sorry to say I missed the Chili Ristras. Sweet memory of your grandmother.

    • weekendcowgirl says

      Yes, in the summer I think the pastels really shine in NM. I love that they base their holidays around their native chili plants. And so useful too!

  2. We lived in NM years ago and I will never forget the first snowfall on the adobe houses with the chili ristras hanging by the doors. I agree with you 100% GORGEOUS!

    • weekendcowgirl says

      Now, what a beautiful scene that would be with snow on adobe structures. I think I am going to have to ask my friend to take photos for me!

  3. I’ve never seen these before. Beautiful! And I agree–with white snow covered houses–mucho beautiful!

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