WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THE POSADAS? MEXICAN CHRISTMAS TRADITION


Riviera Maya

The posadas are representative festivities that are celebrated nine days before Christmas, beginning on December 16 and ending on December 24. These festivities have been celebrated since colonial times and their origin is religious in nature.

The posadas arrived with the Spanish conquest, changing the Aztec traditions who celebrated during the month of Panquetzaliztli (December) the arrival of their god Huitzilopochtli, god of war. These festivities began on the sixth day and lasted 20 days. On the night of the 24th and during the course of the 25th there were celebrations in all the houses, where food was offered to the guests and a statue of pasta known as the "Huitzilopochtli", the god of war. and a paste statues known as "Tzoatl".

With the arrival of the Spaniards the festivities "misas del aguinaldo" were established and celebrated from December 16 to 24. The religious The religious in charge of the evangelization of the people supplanted the cult of the god of war for this practice. These festivities were held in churches and convents These celebrations were held in churches and convents in the open air, Bible passages were read and representations alluding to Christmas were performed. Small gifts were also given to the attendees, known as aguinaldos. known as aguinaldos.

Over the years, the people themselves added elements such as candles, sparklers and piñatas until they adopted these festivities in their homes and neighborhoods. in their homes and neighborhoods. The church allowed the transition from the temple to the streets so that these activities would have a greater repercussion among the inhabitants. repercussion among the inhabitants. From this transition came the name "posada" and according to the culture of each zone or region of Mexico, it has been transformed. Mexico has been transformed.

Once the guests are gathered in this celebration, the request for lodging made by the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph on their pilgrimage is represented. Mary and St. Joseph on their pilgrimage from the city of Nazareth on their way to Bethlehem. In this representation the guests make two groups groups, one of them must leave the house accompanied by figures representing Mary and Joseph and singing the following litany. "In the name of heaven, I ask you for lodging, for she cannot walk, my beloved bride."

The other group must stay inside the house and deny the passage at first forcing the pilgrims to continue asking for lodging about three more times with the following verse: "This is not an inn, go ahead, I cannot open the door, lest I be a fool"

. To end this part of the tradition, the pilgrims are finally granted asylum with the following litany: "Come in, holy pilgrims, pilgrims, receive this corner, that although it is poor the dwelling, the dwelling, I give it to you with all my heart".

Once the posada is granted, the conviviality among the guests begins, which reaches its maximum splendor at the moment of breaking the piñata. breaking the piñata. The piñata symbolizes the triumph of faith over sin and must have seven peaks representing the deadly sins.

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