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Posadas

What are Posadas?


Mexicans celebrate “Las Posadas,” remembering the pilgrimage of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and how hard it was for them to find a place to rest despite Mary’s advanced pregnancy. With songs, those accompanying “the Holy Pilgrims” (depicted as Joseph and Mary pregnant and riding on a donkey) represent the act of knocking on the door of a house requesting “posada” (lodging): “En el nombre del cielo, os pido posada…” Those inside keep turning them down. They go back and forth several stanzas until the house hosting the posada finally opens the doors welcoming the Pilgrims and the accompanying crowd. The community then prays the Rosary together and, after, the host showers visitors with typical foods and hot drinks such as chocolate, atole o champurrado. Children—sometimes adults as well—normally walk out with an “aguinaldo,” a bag usually containing oranges, peanuts and candy. In the United States, this Mexican tradition has extended to many other Latin American communities, perhaps due to identification with the migration experience of the Holy Family.

Mar Munoz-Visoso, Executive director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Please check back later this year for more information on this year’s Posadas.