Posadas-religious tradition

My informant is a student who has very deep connections to her hispanic culture. She shared with me a tradition she celebrated in her childhood during family trips to Mexico. She also elaborated on the specific divergences and alterations to this ritual.


“I would spend a lot of months of the year in Mexico. So I was present for religious celebrations and holidays.In Mexico I would celebrate posadas where the children would play St. Joseph and St. Mary and they would sing the posadas like they do here at our church. but the St. Mary would be on top of an actual donkey.”

She explained to me that in Mexico, the Posadas is a yearly tradition in which people dress up as Joseph and Mary from the biblical narrative and go to each house in the neighborhood. They would then ask if there is a spare room in which  they can stay, recreating the events before the biblical nativity story. This ritual would last 9 days, until Christmas eve. At the culmination of the 9 days, there would be a celebration at the end.

My Analysis:

What I got out of my informant’s story was that this tradition is extremely tied to religion. In re-enacting the biblical story, they are able to become closer to their beliefs as they play the part for over a week. In addition, it is also meant to foster until and togetherness as the folk ritual involves the entire community co-operating together in the reenactment. Finally, the ritual creates anticipation, as the entire community repeats it in the build up until Christmas eve.