Posadas (winter 2016)

Discover a very Mexican tradition

Mexico is a country rich in traditions born from Spanish and Indigenous cultures. December is a month full of festivities that reflect this unique fusion.

VillancicosOne such tradition is the Posada events, nine days of celebrations beginning on December 16th. Every night children throughout the country gather to reenact Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem. They dress up as Mary, Joseph, the Three Kings and groups of angels and shepherds. They sing traditional Christmas hymns "Villancicos" and carry candles.

They proceed to the first designated house, where they ask for shelter. The group of children is then turned away. They will be refused admittance at the second home as well. At the third home however, they are told that although there is no room for them at the inn, they may stay in the stable.

The doors are thrown open and the children are welcomed in. They all kneel around the family’s manger scene the "Nacimiento". The celebration finishes with the breaking of a Piñata with a stick.

Inside the house there is a celebration which can vary from a very big fancy party to a small get-together among friends. The hosts give the guests food, usually tamales and a hot drink - like ponche or atole. Then there are piñatas and the children are given candy.

PosadasOn Christmas Eve "Noche Buena" families gather and go to the midnight mass "Misa de Gallo". After mass the baby Jesus is placed in the altar scene and families proceed to celebrate. The have a large meal together and open their presents. On Christmas Day they visit other family members and friends.

December 28, Day of the Holy Innocents. In Mexico it is celebrated similarly to April fool’s Day in the US. It is an occasion for jokes and pranks.