What Is Las Posadas Season in Mexico?
What are your favorite holiday traditions and celebrations from around the world? Different cultures have unique ways of celebrating the holiday season. In Mexico, the tradition is to enjoy Las Posadas: a celebration of the Christmas story.
Not only is Las Posadas celebrated in Mexico, but many other Latin American countries also follow these traditions, including Cuba, Honduras, and Guatemala.
History and Origins of Las Posadas
The literal translation of las posadas is lodging or inn. The celebrations occur for nine nights, starting on December 16 and ending on Christmas Eve (December 24). The tradition began as a way to commemorate St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary’s search to find a place to stay when Jesus was born.
Originally, this tradition began when the Spanish missionaries wanted to teach Mexicans about Christmas. Mass masses would be held in the churches for nine days before Christmas with representations of Joseph and Mary, followed by a party after the service.
Traditionally, a pinata was hit with a stick by blindfolded partygoers. This activity was a representation of using faith and virtue to defeat temptation. As the pinata broke open, the goodies that came out represented the joy of uniting with God.
Traditions for Las Posadas
Over the years, the Las Posadas traditions have continued to evolve. Today, people reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging by making a procession that moves to a different home each night. As the procession knocks on people’s doors, they are turned away in the same way that Mary and Joseph were rejected before finding the stable to sleep.
Often, children wear costumes to dress up as biblical characters in the story and carry pictures of the nativity. Musicians follow with the procession, and the group often stops to sing at different locations. Homes offer treats and refreshments as the group passes by.
The final stop is at a church or designated home where the main party occurs. This location is where the pinata games happen, and there is often food, singing, and other activities.
Traditional foods for las posadas include tamales (corn dough stuffed with beans or meat), as well as ponche navideno (a Christmas punch made with sugarcane, dried fruit, and cinnamon).
Written by Becki Andrus in partnership with silverware wholesalers Silver Superstore.