Las Posadas

In Mexico, a nine-day celebration of Jesus’ birth

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© Oscar Martinez/iGeneration Youth

 

Las Posadas is a religious festival that is mainly celebrated in Mexico and also some parts of the United States. It starts on December 16 and lasts until December 24, Christmas Eve. The traditional fiestas called Mexican Posadas are held for family, friends, and neighbors around you.

The festival commemorates the journey Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem, seeking a safe refuge for Mary to give birth to Jesus. A posada, on the other hand, is a reenactment of the journey. This tradition was brought to Latin America by the Spanish and was later adopted by Mexico and Guatemala.

In Mexico, during each evening, a small child will dress up as an angel and lead the procession. An organized body of people move forward in an orderly manner, through the streets of the town. The group is mostly made up of children who are dressed in silver and gold robes. They carry candles, as well as images of Joseph and Mary riding on a donkey.

Adults and musicians follow the group and visit selected homes, where they ask for lodging for Joseph and Mary. At each stop, the group reads scriptures and sings Christmas carols. After that, there is a piñata filled with candy, toys, and even money, and the children break it open.

The host of the selected home provides food and refreshments for the people taking part in the festival after the ceremony ends. Throughout the festival, people eat tamales, churros, pozole, pambazos, and more. The food, being around the people they love, and celebrating the holidays are what bring people in Mexico together in joy and harmony.

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