Tonight (Dec. 19) we were honored to be invited to the neighbors’ Posada – a traditional Mexican party held at Christmas. We enjoyed Atole (a hot corn and chocolate drink) and ate tamales and of course had a piñata. See below for more information about Posadas.
How did posadas originate?
Posadas in Mexico began as a way for the Spaniards to teach native people about Christmas. During the nine days leading up to Christmas Day, masses would include representations of Mary and Joseph. Following mass was a party where people were blindfolded before hitting a piñata with a stick, a representation of faith defeating temptation with the help of virtue. The fruits and sweets that poured out of the piñata represented the joys of union with God.
In time, posadas started to be held in neighborhoods and people’s homes, becoming a more familiar and tightly-knit occasion, as well as preparation for Christmas. At the beginning of a posada, people are divided in two groups, the ones “outside” representing Mary and Joseph, and the ones “inside” representing innkeepers. Then everyone sings the posada litany together, re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search, going back and forth until they are finally “admitted” to an inn. After this tradition, the party proper starts. Posadas have spread to other countries—such as Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela; the celebrations vary by location. Carlos Villamayor