Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter Traditions and Holidays Part 12 - Las Posadas

Las Posadas (mostly in Mexico beginning December 16 and ending December 24, on evenings)
  • Mexican families participate in nightly processions that re-create Pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem
  • The nine night represents the pregnancy of Mary.
  • Many Mexican holidays include dramatizations of events, which is rooted in the ritual of Bible plays used to teach religious doctrine to a largely illiterate population in Europe in the 10th and 11th centuries.
  • The Aztec winter solstice festival had traditionally been observed from December 7 to 26 as according to the Aztec calendar, their most important deity, the sun god Huitzilopochtli, was born in December).
  • The parallel in time between this native celebration and the birth of the Christ lent itself to an almost seamless merging of the two holy days.
  • Two people dress as Mary and Joseph and certain houses are the inn
  • The head of the procession will have a candle.  At each house, the resident responds by singing a song and Mary and Joseph are finally recognized and allowed to enter
  • Once the "innkeepers" let them in, the group of guests come into the home and kneel around the Nativity scene to pray
  • The procession will be followed by musicians, with the entire procession singing.
  • At the end of each night's journey, there will be Christmas carols, children will break open star-shaped piñatas to obtain candy and fruit hidden inside, and there will be a feast.

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