Every pueblo determines its own special calendar of ceremonies by observation of the sun. Some authorities think that the Rio Grande pueblos have adopted the white man's calendric system, thereby changing the yearly pattern. This seems to be borne out in the election of governors and the saint's day festivals, but the dances with seasonal significance are still performed in proper relation to the native calendric periods. The summer solstice and the winter solstice were the two divisions of the ceremonial year. The Indian "observed that the sun, both to the east and to the west, reached a point in the south beyond which it never traveled, and from which it commenced its return to the north. In due time the return of the sun dispelled the cold of the winter and brought warmth and life back to the earth."
Thus the rituals and ceremonies closely follow the seasons. In spring, the rituals of the planting are followed by the ceremonies for germination and growth. In summer, the rites of protection of the crops coincide with the ceremonies to invoke rain. The autumn is filled with dances of thanksgiving as the gathering of the harvest evokes prayers for the fertility of the earth for the coming year. The winter season is filled with invocations. Many of these are made by the Weather Control groups, who must provide snow in the mountains to fill the rivers in spring, and at the same time man and animal must be protected from fierce blizzards and freezing winds. Many prayer ceremonies are performed by the Hunt groups, which are active at this time. The prayers and dances are a form of appeal to the animals. Formerly this appeal was that they allow themselves to be killed for the benefit of mankind; now, since there is government restriction on hunting, the appeal is that the animals intercede with the 'higher powers' to provide for man.
Thus there is an ever-recurring cycle of events to assure the continuation of life by providing food, clothing, and health.