Las Posadas, (in English, “The Inns”) is a 9 day Mexican Christmas tradition based on the story of Mary, Joseph, and their search for a safe place to stay before Jesus was born. This has been a tradition in many Latin countries for more than 400 years, and since many Mexican holidays include dramatizations of events or stories, this particular holiday is a new-aged re-enactment of the Christmas story of Mary and Joseph. Each of the 9 days of Las Posadas represents one month that baby Jesus was carried in Mary’s womb.
Hispanics who observe the holiday come together for all nine days and nights to decorate their homes and cook traditional food for each other. Every year, entire communities come together for this event and are filled with song and prayer to honor it… But the festivities don’t stop there. In fact, that’s just the beginning. The main attraction of this holiday tradition is the group of people who act out and relive the nativity scene to remind their people of the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the stable where the Bible says they stayed on Christmas Eve. The celebration begins with a procession at night, where participants carry candles, sing, and act out the nativity… And the kids even get piñatas!
The Catholic Christmas tradition came to these countries in the 16th century as Spanish Augustinian friars evangelized the new world. The tradition remains just as strong today.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Learn the history and beauty of Las Posadas and use #LasPosadas to post on social media. This 9-day commemoration wouldn’t quite be complete without the traditional food that comes along with it. So, even if you’re not in a Latin community that celebrates it every year, you can still honor it by cooking up some delicious Mexican recipes.
Las Posadas started with the Spanish Augustinian friars over 400 years ago.