The celebration of the Posada has been a tradition in Mexico for 400 years. Many Mexican holidays include dramatizations of original events, a tradition which has its roots in the ritual of Bible plays used to teach religious doctrine to a largely illiterate population in Europe as early as the 10th and 11th centuries. The Posada is a novena, a service of nine consecutive evenings leading up to Christmas to celebrate the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and not finding lodging. The tradition is for two groups of people singing responsively on either side of the door in the church or at someone’s home. One group, playing Mary and Joseph, asks for “Posada,” or a place to stay each day. Once the innkeepers let them in, the Mary and Joseph group come into the home or church and kneel around the Nativity scene to pray. Latin American countries have continued to celebrate this holiday to this day, with very few changes to the tradition. The people asking for posada travel to 1 house each night for 9 nights.
The Posada is typically celebrated with prayers, several songs, and then food and piñatas. It is very much a family oriented event of the expectation of the Christ. It is a celebration of great joy. At the Cathedral, we will celebrate a single night of the Posada on Saturday, December 21 at 6 p.m. in Child Hall. All are welcome!