Memories from Mexico

By Victoria Gomez


Las Posadas, (Spanish: “The Inns”) religious tradition celebrated in Mexico between December 16 and 24.  Las posadas commemorate the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus.

The Posadas bring the neighborhood or community together.  The procession takes place each evening and is primarily made up of children dressed up as Mary and Joseph leading the procession. Adults, including musicians, follow the procession, visiting selected homes and asking for lodging for Joseph and Mary. Typically, the visitors are refused lodging, so they must continue visiting homes until one of them opens its doors. Traditionally the host offers hot chocolate or champurrado (drink made of corn flour) and tamales. At each stop, passages of scripture are read and Christmas carols are sung. Afterwards, children break open piñatas filled with candy. The piñatas are usually crafted in the shape of a star, which is said to have guided the three wise men of biblical tradition to the newborn Jesus.


Children in procession asking for Posada. Painting by Diego Rivera


Children breaking the Piñata, by Diego Rivera (Mexican artist)


Published on December 11, 2020.