Christmas in México–Las Posadas

posada

Las Posadas is a 9-day series of community or family gatherings that begin December 15 and end December 24 reenacting the pilgrimage of José y María (Joseph and Mary) from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  According to some sources, this tradition began in 1587 when the priest Diego Soria instituted a series of masses to replace the celebrations that occurred during this same time period to the god of war, Huitzilopochtli.  During this Aztec festival, a slave was selected to represent Quetzalcóatl and sacrificed at the conclusion of the 9 days of festivities, and the temples held ceremonies reenacting the arrival of Quetzalcóatl.

As it is currently observed, family groups or communities take turns hosting the event.  The host family plays the role of the innkeeper, and the visitors are assigned the role of peregrinos (pilgrims) in search of lodging.  The peregrinos (pilgrims) pedir posada (ask for accommodation) in song-form from the host family, standing outside a closed door with lit candles.  The song is funny, irreverent and a bit complicated to sing.  Most participants use cheat sheets provided by the host.  The complete song in Spanish and English can be found HERE.

Once the host “recognizes” Mary and Joseph, the peregrinos (pilgrims) are allowed to enter.  Refreshment is provided by the host, usually in the form of pozole (hominy stew) or another traditional dish and ponche (fruit punch) or canela (hot cinnamon tea).  This is followed by reza (prayers, usually the rosary is recited) and la piñata.  Host families also provide aguinaldos (a bag of treats and fruit) for the departing participants to take with them.

Or so this custom is celebrated in Moroleón.  Once upon a time, before I knew better, I agreed to accompany my mother-in-law to Las Posadas.  Little did I realize that we would be in for a night of posada-crashing.  We drove around until we saw a group of people huddled outside a home and follow them in.  As the whole point of the event is to express hospitality, the host could not ask us to leave although I noticed several dirty looks sent our way.  I, for one, felt extremely uncomfortable eating a stranger’s food and accepting the aguinaldo (treat bag), so much so that I tried to return it, but that wasn’t allowed either.  It’s the season for giving after all and I just further offended that host.  My mother-in-law had no such qualms and ate to her heart’s content, even asking for a second aguinaldo.  After that night, I refused to attend any more posadas that Christmas season, even though there were 8 days left.

SOTBS Blog Hop Op1Sq

    Have a Christmas in Mexico themed blog post?

Link it up here!   An InLinkz Link-up 

*********

disclosure

Advertisements

13 Comments

Filed under Mexican Holidays, Religion

13 responses to “Christmas in México–Las Posadas

  1. I love reading about other customs! God Bless!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Christmas (Navidad) in Mexico | Oconahua

  3. Pingback: Christmas in México–Christmas Eve | Surviving Mexico

  4. Posada crashing?? hahahahaha! I have never seen anyone do that! But you have to admit that’s a very ingenious way of not missing out on the holidays in case you have not been invited to any posadas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Attending a quinceañera | Surviving Mexico

  6. Pingback: Comment on Christmas in México–Las Posadas by fabiolaofmexico : The Christmas Blog

  7. Pingback: Christmas in México—La Piñata | Surviving Mexico

  8. Pingback: Pozole | Surviving Mexico

  9. Pingback: Las Posadas and Modern Day Marias | Surviving Mexico

  10. Pingback: Modern Day Marias–Jamie Miranda the mother | Surviving Mexico

  11. Pingback: A room of her own–Perks | Surviving Mexico

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s