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Las Posadas: What Are Those?

A Tradition

Mexican traditions are filled with fun, food and Posadas. Outsiders may question the posada, but it’s a brilliant event that occurs over a nine-day period leading up to Christmas Day. Las Posadas are a very important part of Christmas tradition in Mexico.

The event occurs between December 16 and December 24.

When translated to English, the word “posada” translates to “inn” or “shelter.” This is very important because people will ask for shelter during the two-part event.

The tradition is a recreation of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem and their struggle to find a place to stay, or a posada.

Neighborhoods in Mexico start with a procession where Christmas carols are sung while candles are held that illuminate the streets.

Actors may be present and play the role of Mary and Joseph.

The event ends with the group going to a posada to ask for shelter. People offer to host a posada in advance, and a different posada is chosen for each of the nine nights. Mary and Joseph ask the owner of the house for shelter.

The owner, like in the Bible, says there is no room.

Songs are sung back and forth until the innkeeper agrees to allow the two into the home.

Upon entering the home, a celebration begins. A party is thrown in the home, with Bible reading and prayers taking place. The celebration can be a huge event or a small gathering, but it’s always filled with food and fun.

Piñata Time

Piñatas are present, too, where guests take their turn hitting the piñata. Once broken, candy falls out on the floor and is given to the children.

Las Posadas is a representation of the journey to Bethlehem, or it can represent the nine months Mary was pregnant.

Either way, it’s a fun event for everyone.


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