Las Posadas starts in Mexico on December 16th and goes till Christmas. Las Posadas literally means "the inns". The festival is based around a reenactment of Joseph and Mary trying to find lodging at numerous inns in Bethlehem and being turned away. Nowadays during Las Posadas, children parade through their towns with the adults following them with candles. The procession goes from house to house i.

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The word posada means "inn" or "shelter" in Spanish. In this tradition, the Bible story of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and their search for a place to stay is re-enacted. Posadas are held in neighborhoods across Mexico and are also becoming popular in the United States. The celebration begins with a procession in which the participants hold candles and sing Christmas carols. Sometimes there will be individuals who play the parts of Mary and Joseph who lead the way, or images representing them are carried.

There are two parts to the traditional posada song. Those outside the house sing the role of Joseph asking for shelter and the family inside responds, singing the part of the innkeeper saying that there is no room. The song switches back and forth a few times until finally, the innkeeper agrees to let them in. The hosts open the door, and everyone goes inside. Once inside the house, there is a celebration which can vary from a big fancy party or a casual neighborhood to a small get-together among friends.

Often the festivities begin with a short religious service which includes a Bible reading and prayer. The nine nights of posadas leading up to Christmas are said to represent the nine months that Jesus spent in Mary's womb, or alternatively, to represent nine days journey that it took Mary and Joseph to get from Nazareth where they lived to Bethlehem where Jesus was born.

Now a widely-celebrated tradition throughout Latin America, there is evidence that the posadas originated in colonial Mexico.

The Augustinian friars of San Agustin de Acolman, near Mexico City , are believed to have organized the first posadas. The tradition seems to be one of many examples of how the Catholic religion in Mexico was adapted to make it easier for the indigenous people to understand and blend with their earlier beliefs. The Aztecs had a tradition of honoring their god Huitzilopochtli at the same time of year coinciding with the winter solstice.

It seems that the friars took advantage of the coincidence and the two celebrations were combined. The Posada celebrations were originally held in the church, but the custom spread.

Later it was celebrated in haciendas, and then in family homes, gradually taking the form of the celebration as it is now practiced by the time of the 19th century. Neighborhood committees often organize the posadas, and a different family will offer to host the celebration each night. Besides neighborhood posadas, often schools and community organizations will organize a one-off posada on one of the nights between the 16th and the 24th.

If a posada or other Christmas party is held earlier in December for scheduling concerns, it may be referred to as a "pre-posada. Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using Tripsavvy, you accept our.

Written by. Suzanne Barbezat. Suzanne Barbezat is a freelance writer specializing in Mexican travel, culture, and food. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines. Share Pin Email. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Tell us why! Read More.


Posadas: A Traditional Mexican Christmas Celebration

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Cantos para pedir posada (o Villancico para pedir posada)


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