As we are in the holiday season, you might hear the word "Posada." Many people in Mexico are all too familiar with this term, but for our visitors who do not know exactly what this word means or what it entails, we have decided to provide you with the wonderful explanation of Father James Farfaglia of Catholic Online.
As Father Farfaglia explains, "The tradition of the Posadas was brought to Mexico from Spain in the 1500's by Catholic Missionaries. The Posadas commemorate Mary and Joseph's difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a place for the Christ Child to be born. In Spanish, the word means dwelling or lodging. The Posadas begin on December 16 for nine evenings, culminating with the Posada on December 24 and Midnight Mass.
The Posadas are not to be confused with a mere Christmas party. (Many people in Mexico regard) Posadas as a religious event. In Catholic parishes, parisioners and anyone who wishes to join in meet at the church at a specific time during the early evening.
(In Catholic tradition in Mexico) the Posada begins with the recitation of the Holy Rosary, a very beautiful prayer to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. When a part of the Rosary is prayed by all those who have gathered for the Posada, the group begins to proceed from the church to the local neighborhood.
The Posada can be led by a small group carrying a manger scene or the Posada can become quite elaborate with a live donkey and parishioners who are dressed like Mary and Joseph. Families in the neighborhood are already previously selected to participate in the Posada.
The group proceeds along the street to the Posada house. Again, the Posada group sings from outside of the selected house and a small group sings the response from inside the house where the Posada will take place. The Posada dinner, provided by the host family, (can include traditional Mexican) dishes such as tamales, menudo and pizole. (In many places a) Posada ends with the traditional pinata. The seven corners of each pinata represent the Seven Deadly Sins. The beating of the pinata symbolizes the mortification that Christians exercise in overcoming personal sin. The candy within each pinata characterizes the sweetness of God's grace made available to us through the birth of Jesus."
Undoubtedly, culture and religion are very much tied together in the fabric of Mexican culture. The Posadas are a great example of this, and we invite anybody (no matter what your religion) to partake in this beautiful tradition that seeks to convey unity, comradery, philanthropy and good grace.
Today in many parts of Mexico, the Posada celebration is one spent with families, friends and co-workers.
Companies hold Luncheons or Dinners to celebrate a successful year and treat their employees to food and beverages at a local restaurant.
Because of the holiday rush, some companies have their luncheons after Christmas, but... before Dia de los Reyes.
This Holiday Season, we invite you to give or attend a Posada, spread the love and you too can claim a Mexican tradition, as yours, throughout the ages.
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