Christmas traditions are the unique things that merrily unite so many of us. While all those that celebrate Christmas are celebrating the birth of Christ we have so many different ways to do it. From advent calendars and advent wreaths to receiving gifts from Santa or the Three Kings. Each country, each family, has traditions that bring the meaning of Christmas to life.
In San Antonio we’ve adopted the Mexican tradition of a Posada Navideña and you can experience it right on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. It starts at La Mansion and processes over to Maverick Plaza at La Villita. With the river holiday lights as the background it’s a beautiful way to get into the holiday spirit.
A posada is at its essence a Christmas party that still focuses on Christ. A blend of indigenous and Catholic traditions and symbols that come together in a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary seeking a place to stay… asking for lodging or in Spanish pidiendo posada. Posadas are celebrated over a nine-day period that starts December 16th. These celebrations typically are at homes or at the neighborhood church.
Traditionally people would get together with nine other families and they’d each take a day to host and attend the other group posadas. Now, the most common is that you host just one posada and attend those you are invited to during Dec. 16 -24. In Mexico these parties bring out the best of the season and always include the praying of the rosary, a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary’s request for lodging while singing the traditional Christmas carols, a piñata, and food.
Celebrate a Texas Posada
Since we live far away from the majority of our extended family and because processing down the street in my neighborhood might be seen as odd I’ll share with you how we have celebrated in the past.
One year we invited about ten people to join the four of us at my parents’ home and with my cousin dressed as Joseph and I as Mary we processed from the back door to the front door and back again until we were finally invited in. We came into a warm spread of delicious traditional food made by my mother that included: Tamales, pozole, champurrado, cafe de olla, and ponche de navidad. We ate while my father set-up the piñata for the kids. Another recent time the gathering was smaller and we simply prayed the rosary, sang and then had the kids break the piñata followed by dinner.
The Posada is full of symbols, such as the nine days of celebration are reminiscent of the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy. The seven points of the star piñata stand for the seven sins and in the breaking of the piñata , while blindfolded (following with blind faith), we defeat them. I could write a book about all the symbolism and meaning but know that it’s all tied into the story of the birth of Christ and faith as a whole.
While our girls get gifts from Santa and not the Three Kings, for us, Christmas is expressed best in our hearts and to our children when celebrated with a Posada.
TEXAS POSADAS BLOG HOP
I’m participating in a Texas Posadas Blog Hop as part of the Texas Social Media Network (#TXSocial). You can visit these other blogs for more on Posadas: food, traditions, etc. We’ll be celebrating our Posada Blogs for the next nine days. Join us!
12/16 – My Tots Travel – That’s us!
12/17 – Sweet Life
12/18 – Expecting The Unexpected
12/19 – Frida’s Cafe and Juan of Words
12/20 – Tejana Made
12/21 – Monica Wants It
12/22 – Sybilline
12/23 – Your Sassy Self
12/24 – ¿Qué Means What?