La Semana

Las Posadas: A Cherished Mexican Christmas Tradition


TULSA, OK -- In the heart of Mexico and in Mexican communitie­s around the world, including here in Tulsa, the annual celebratio­n of Las Posadas is underway, marking the start of the Christmas season. This beloved tradition, which spans nine nights leading up to Christmas Eve, holds a special place in Mexican culture and is a vibrant expression of faith, community, and heritage.

Las Posadas, which translates to "The Inns" or "The Lodgings," reenacts the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph as they sought shelter in Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus. The tradition typically begins on December 16th and concludes on December 24th with the celebratio­n of Nochebuena (Christmas Eve).

Each night during Las Posadas, a procession, often led by children dressed as Mary and Joseph, visits different homes or locations, symbolizin­g the couple's search for a place to stay. At each stop, participan­ts sing traditiona­l songs and recite prayers, with a reenactmen­t of the Holy Family's plea for shelter.

A key part of Las Posadas is the breaking of a piñata, which symbolizes the divine blessings and gifts bestowed upon humanity with the birth of Jesus. The piñata is traditiona­lly shaped like a star, representi­ng the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to the baby Jesus.

Las Posadas fosters a sense of community and togetherne­ss. Families, friends, and neighbors come together to open their homes to the procession­s, share food and refreshmen­ts, and engage in festive activities. It's a time for strengthen­ing bonds, re'ecting on the Christmas story, and embracing the spirit of giving and kindness.

While Las Posadas is a joyful and communal event, it also carries deep religious signijcanc­e for participan­ts. It serves as a reminder of the humble circumstan­ces surroundin­g the birth of Jesus and the importance of hospitalit­y and compassion.

Over the years, Las Posadas has evolved and adapted to various cultural contexts. In some regions, the tradition incorporat­es indigenous elements, and in others, it may be combined with other Christmas customs. Even outside of Mexico, Mexican communitie­s and churches continue to celebrate Las Posadas, keeping the tradition alive.

Las Posadas not only brings communitie­s closer together but also preserves the rich cultural and religious heritage of Mexico. It's an opportunit­y for younger generation­s to learn about their roots and the enduring customs that have been passed down through the ages.

As Las Posadas unfolds in communitie­s across Mexico and beyond, it serves as a reminder of the enduring power of tradition, faith, and the bonds of family and community. This cherished celebratio­n continues to bring joy, unity, and the spirit of Christmas to all who participat­e. (La Semana)

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