The inns. Mexican Christmas tradition

The inns. Mexican Christmas tradition

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A group of people, children and adults, walk the streets of Mexican neighborhoods to the sound of happy Christmas carols. They also sing a song asking for accommodation. It is actually about The inns, a very old Christmas tradition that is not only celebrated in Mexico, but also also in Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama.

Las Posadas is not about a family celebration. Friends, co-workers or neighbors also participate. And although it looks like a birthday celebration, (with piñata and all), it is actually a symbolic pilgrimage: they remember the journey of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph and their search for accommodation when they arrived in Bethlehem.

The party of The inns It has been celebrated in Mexico since the 16th century. It is a very popular Christmas tradition and takes place from December 16 to 24. It is similar to a birthday party, because there is food, dances, games, songs and even piñata. Only that it is celebrated for 9 days, and each of these days is dedicated to a value: generosity, humility, charity, strength, detachment, purity, justice, joy and trust.

The piñata, For children and adults, it is shaped like a seven-pointed star and is filled with sweets and candies. But also oranges and peanuts. The star is a symbol. Each of its points represents one of the seven deadly sins. Ending it means defeating evil.

This celebration is thought to replace a much older one, celebrated by the Nahuatl Indians during the winter solstice in honor of the god Quetzalcoatl, the 'feathered serpent'.

And why is it called Las posadas? Because during the pilgrimage, a request for accommodation must be made for Mary and Joseph. What is celebrated or commemorated is the moment in which the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph arrive in Bethlehem and look for an inn where they can spend the night. Until finally they find lodging in a humble manger. The people who participate, walk down the street and sing a song similar to this:

In the name of heaven

I ask you for lodging

Well, he can't walk

my beloved wife.

This is not an inn,

keep going;

I can't open

don't be some scoundrel.

Don't be inhuman

that the God of Heaven

they will be rewarded.

You can go now

and do not disturb

because, if I get angry,

I'm going to beat them up.

Posada asks you,

beloved home,

for just one night

the Queen of Heaven.

Well if she is a queen

who requests it,

How come at night

Are you so lonely?

We come surrendered

from Nazareth.

I'm a carpenter

named José.

I don't care about the name

let me sleep,

because I already told you

that we are not to open.

My wife is maria

She is Queen of Heaven

and mother will be

of the Divine Word

Are you José?

Is your wife Maria?

Come in, Pilgrims,

did not know them!

God pay, gentlemen,

your charity,

and heaven fills them

of happiness.

Happy the house

that houses this day

to the Pure Virgin

the beautiful Maria.

Come in, Holy Pilgrims,


welcome this corner.

Although the dwelling is poor,

I give it to you from the heart.

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