Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Nights of "Las Posadas"

As I write this, people all over Mexico are celebrating a "Posada".  "Las Posadas" are held for nine nights prior to Christmas from December 16th until December 24th.  The "Posada" represents Joseph and Mary searching for room at the inn.  (The word "posada" means "lodging".)  Each evening, neighbors gather together to form a procession that marches down the street.  At the head of the procession someone carries figures of Mary and Joseph.  The neighbors stop at predetermined houses, and knock on the door.  When the person inside opens the door, the neighbors sing the traditional litany of the "Posada".

En nombre del cielo
Os pido posada...

In the name of heaven
  I beg of you lodging... 

At each house they are turned away, until the procession comes to the home of that evening's hosts.  Here the neighbors are welcomed.

 Entren santos peregrinos...

Enter holy pilgrims...

Inside, refreshments are served, and one or more piñatas are hung for the children to break.  The children sing the "piñata song"...

Dale, dale, dale,
No pierdas el tino.
Mide la distancia
Que hay en el camino...

Hit it, hit it, hit it,
Don't lose your aim.
Measure the distance
In the path...



Alejandro and his family hosted the first "Posada" of the season on Monday night.  About sixty neighbors participated.  After the procession he and his sister served "tortas de mole"... thick rolls cut open and filled with "mole".  Alejandro made his mother's recipe for the traditional "ponche navideño", a Christmas fruit punch that is served hot.  (The hot beverage is perfect for the chilly December nights in Mexico City.)  They had four piñatas.  The piñatas were suspended over the street, and Alejandro was on the upstairs terrace controlling the rope.  At the same time he was trying to take a video.  Here is a snippet of that video...