Celebrating Christmas with Traditional Mexican Posadas!
CHRISTMAS ISN’T CHRISTMAS in our home without a whirlwind of Posadas with family and friends! And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing over the past week or so, hosting or attending one fun posada after another! In fact, we hosted a posada with some of our friends at our home, but during this holiday season we also attended five other posadas with friends and family in both Los Cabos and Guadalajara. Yes, six posadas in total, which also means a whole lot of food!
Posadas are a very important part of traditional Mexican Christmas celebrations. Although many families in other countries, like America and Canada, also celebrate the posada tradition, if you are not familiar with it, let us share the joy with you…
First, let’s start with the word itself. Posada means “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, which, of course, ties into Mary and Joseph searching for safe shelter in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
Second, typically, in most Mexican households, some form of a posada is held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas day. These nine nights of posadas are said to either represent the nine months that Jesus spent in Mary’s womb, or, perhaps, to represent the nine long days’ journey Mary and Joseph took to get to Bethlehem.
Third, posada generally begins with a candlelit procession outside the home where participants hold candles and sing Christmas carols asking for shelter. Many times someone (usually children) will dress up and play the parts of Mary and Joseph and these two will lead the procession. At other times, there are images or statues that are carried instead. The procession will make its way to a particular home (perhaps a different one each night), where a special song, La Cancion Para Pedir Posada, is sung. The symbolism of this is just beautiful!
Last comes the party! Because once the carolers are invited inside the house there is a celebration which can vary from a very big fancy party to a small get-together among family and friends. That’s what you are seeing here, our casual posada that we hosted at our house in Los Cabos. Of course, there is tons of delicious food and drink served! Most importantly, tamales as the main course, hot ponche as the official drink (tequila was added, only if the adults needed it, of course! and many of us DID) and buñuelos (doughnuts) as the featured dessert. We all love the sugary fried dough, but come on, we always want more sweets! So we added a delicious coconut cake as well as a guayaba cake.
Then we broke piñatas, one for the kids and one for the adults (who had their eyes covered to make things a bit more interesting!). Since we wanted everybody to have fun, in addition to the traditional elements, we added a DJ, a foosball table, and an inflatable bouncer. As you can see, we all had a wonderful FESTIVE time! Including dear Elena!
Feliz Navidad from our (crazy) family to yours! xoxo
Love, Carlos and Elena Damy