The Most Beautiful Holiday Party: The Posadas

The Tradition of the Posadas

By Monica Belen

"In the name of the cieeeeeeeelo, I ask you for posaaaaaaaaaada because my wife can't walk around..." So begins the cantaleta of one of the many Mexican traditions, this is called "Posada" is the staging of the journey that Joseph and pregnant Mary made in the pilgrimage of the night before Jesus was born, knocking door after door in the inclement climate of Bethlehem, today located in Israel. Who staged it? The guests at the feast or "Posada" that begins with this journey along the length and breadth of a street or large courtyard, usually are two children holding the clay or wooden figures of Joseph and pregnant Mary, these are called "pilgrims", The others follow them with a lighted candle and a woman, usually older, goes crying phrases of praise to the Virgin Mary while everyone answers in Latin "Ora pro nobis" which means "Pray for us", upon arriving at the house receiving the pilgrims are divided into two groups: Those who accompany the pilgrims and those who are the landlords and the "Litany" (dialogued prayer) begins the staging to remember that moment.

Here we present it to you:


In the name of heaven

I ask you for lodging,

for my beloved wife

my beloved wife.


Here is no inn

go ahead

I must not open

lest some rogue.


Do not be inhuman

have mercy on us,

the God of heaven

will reward you.


You may go now

and do not disturb,

because if I get angry

I'm going to beat you up.


We come in surrender

from Nazareth

I am a carpenter

by the name of Joseph.


I don't care about the name,

let me sleep,

for I tell you

that we shall not open.


Posada asks you

beloved landlord,

for just one night

the queen of heaven.


For if it is a queen

who requests it

how is it that at night

does she walk so alone?


My wife is Mary

she is queen of heaven

and mother she will be

of the Divine Word.


Are you Joseph?

Is your wife Mary?

Come in, pilgrims,

I didn't know you.


May God repay you gentlemen

your charity,

and may heaven fill you

of happiness.


Blessed is the house

that houses this day

the pure virgin,

the beautiful Mary!

When you open the door all sing:

Enter holy pilgrims, pilgrims,

receive this corner that although the dwelling is poor, the dwelling, the dwelling,

I give it to you from my heart.

At the end, the pilgrims give thanks saying:

A thousand thanks we give you

that on this occasion

you gave us lodging

with a loyal heart.

We ask heaven

that this charity

reward you by filling you

of happiness.

Then everyone enters and the party begins, we drink punch (hot fruit drink that we already explained you how to prepare in POQUIO), we give the so called "aguinaldos" that in Mexico has two meanings, the first one is a labor benefit that the worker receives at the end of the year before December 20, and in the decembrinas parties that bags of candy or fruits to all the guests and of course: Several piñatas are broken in the shape of a star with 7 peaks that symbolize the 7 deadly sins, whoever hits it must be blindfolded symbolizing that faith is blind and this guide of virtue, when breaking it, sweets and fruits emerge from the inside as a reward for the effort to overcome evil. By uses and customs they are carried out from December 16 to 23, one per day.

This tradition dates back to the XVIII century when they began to be organized by families as a way of Christmas coexistence derived from the Catholic tradition brought by the Spaniards during the conquest. Nowadays they are held more frequently in the center of the country, Mexico City, and are organized by the community, rescuing the tradition and as a perfect pretext for peaceful coexistence.

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