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Time to Celebrate Las Posadas

It’s time to celebrate las posadas with your loved ones and eat delicious tamales with a hot ponche de frutas. In English posada means “inn” or “shelter”. It is a celebration that begins nine days before Christmas. For nine consecutive days a posada is made, starting on December 16th and ending on December 24th commemorating the birth of Jesus. There are many different ways las posadas are celebrated in Latin America. They can be done with family, friends, or the whole neighborhood. The primary purpose of the posada, is to re-enact Mary and Joseph’s long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. After nine days of searching with no luck, Mary had to give birth in a stable.

During the nine days a different family organizes the posada for each night. First, the journey of Mary and Joseph asking for posada, or shelter, is recreated. Invited guests gather outside the house, where a child is dressed as an angel leads the procession, and other children are dressed as Mary and Joseph follow behind. The procession begins looking for a house that is going to provide “posada”. Once they are provided shelter, the doors are opened and the party begins. The festivities usually include small rockets or flares, singing Spanish Christmas carols, live music and dancing.

Some of the typical foods found in posadas are hot fruit punch, tamales of different flavors, buñuelos and champurrado. There is usually also a piñata with the form of a star with seven peaks, in which each peak represent one of the seven deadly sins. Breaking each peak represents overcoming sin and in order to receive the gifts of God represented by the fruit and sweets inside.

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