Posadas Navidenas

By Zapotlence (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Hispanic celebration of Posadas Navidenas

The Posadas Navidenas is a Christian holiday that is celebrated in Latin America and by Hispanics in the states. The celebration which occurs annually always starts on December 16. It lasts for nine days and ends on Christmas day. During this period the Latinos and Hispanics celebrate and commemorate the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas day.

Posada, which roughly translates to “inn” in Spanish, is the centerpiece that gives the occasion its name. The Latino and Hispanic Christians recall the trials and tribulations Mary and Joseph endured before arriving at the inn. The nine days of the celebration also have a secondary meaning which is to signify the nine months Mary was pregnant with Jesus Christ.

In both Latin America and the United States of America, the Latinos celebrate the Posadas Navidenas by participating in a play. The play re-enacts Mary and Joseph’s troubled journey usually portrayed by children actors. The play also acts as a curtain raiser for a procession on a pre-determined route to signify Mary and Joseph’s journey to the inn. The audience and the rest of the children follow the actors around a local neighborhood while asking families to join in the procession. The procession sings songs (Spanish Christmas carols) till the end of the route and a party ensues at the end.

Visitors of participating towns are hosted by native families. Before getting a hosting family, they are asked to go around town while asking for accommodation.  A few families turn them away until they find a family willing to host them. When the visitors get a willing family, they are welcomed and then served a Latino drink which resembles eggnog. Afterwards, Christmas carols are sung by all.

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