This week, our second-grade students were lucky enough to experience a little bit of Mexican culture by learning about Las Posadas. Mrs. Colucci, one of our parents, came to talk about her Mexican roots and their celebration of this very old Mexican tradition. Second graders learned a special song that is performed during Las Posadas, and below you can watch their performance in action.
Las Posadas is a tradition that has been embedded in the culture of Latin American countries for centuries. Posadas is Spanish for lodging, and its meaning is closely tied to Catholicism and the birth of Jesus. In Mexico, Las Posadas has been celebrated for more than 400 years. The celebration begins on December 16th and lasts for nine days until December 24th. The novena or nine days of celebration represents the nine-month pregnancy of Mary.
Las Posadas are held in neighborhoods and begin with a procession where people hold candles and sing villancicos (Christmas carols). People dress up as Joseph, Mary, angels, and shepherds. Each night, the procession heads to a different home, decorated with evergreens, moss and paper lanterns, and sing a special song. Children and adults outside the house role-play the part of Joseph asking for lodging. The people inside the house play the part of the innkeeper denying shelter. At the end of the song, the innkeeper allows to let them in. The owner of the home opens the door, and everyone goes inside. Once inside, family and friends celebrate with prayers, Christmas carols, food, games piñatas with candy, and fireworks.
These dramas are repeated for nine consecutive nights, each night at different, pre-selected homes. What a wonderful way to begin Christmas celebrations, with family, friends, and keeping traditions alive!