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The tradition of the Posadas was brought to Mexico from Spain in the 1500's by Catholic Missionaries

The Posadas are not to be confused with a mere Christmas party.  Instead, the Posadas should be seen as a religious event. 

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - What is a Posada?  This is a question that a lot of people ask as we prepare to celebrate Christmas. 

The tradition of the Posadas was brought to Mexico from Spain in the 1500's by Catholic Missionaries.  The Posadas commemorate Mary and Joseph's difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a place for the Christ Child to be born.

In Spanish, the word means dwelling or lodging.  The Posadas begin on December 16 for nine evenings, culminating with the Posada on December 24 and Midnight Mass. 

The Posadas are not to be confused with a mere Christmas party.  Instead, the Posadas should be seen as a religious event. 

In Catholic parishes, parishioners and anyone who wishes to join in meet at the church at a specific time during the early evening. 

The Posada begins with the recitation of the Holy Rosary, a very beautiful prayer to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  When a part of the Rosary is prayed by all those who have gathered for the
Posada, the group begins to proceed from the church to the local neighborhood.

The Posada can be led by a small group carrying a manger scene or the Posada can become quite elaborate with a live donkey and parishioners who are dressed like Mary and Joseph.

Families in the neighborhood are already previously selected to participate in the Posada.

Usually three houses are selected where the Posada does not take place. The participants stand before the door of each house and sing a song in Spanish asking to enter the house.  A small group remains inside the house telling the outside group that it is impossible to enter. 

Another family has been already selected to provide the Posada.

The group proceeds along the street to the Posada house.  Again, the Posada group sings from outside of the selected house and a small group sings the response from inside the house where the Posada will take place. 

La Posada dinner, provided by the host family, includes such Hispanic dishes as tamales, menudo and posoli.  Each Posada ends with the traditional piņata. 

The seven corners of each piņata represents the Seven Deadly Sins.  The beating of the piņata symbolizes the mortification that Christians exercise in overcoming personal sin.  The candy within each piņata characterizes the sweetness of God's grace made available to us through the birth of Jesus. 

Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  You can visit him on the web at 


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Keywords: Christmas, Advent, Las Posadas, Father James Farfaglia, Hispanic culture, Mexico


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1 - 4 of 4 Comments

  1. summer
    2 years ago

    this is a very helpful source:)

  2. Rose
    2 years ago

    Father, this is a very good explanation of the Posadas.

  3. abey
    2 years ago

    Further, in the words of our Saviour Jesus Christ to His birth & life on earth " Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head". He who is to dwell in the hearts of men - The Messiah.

  4. mike robertson
    2 years ago

    I wish to encourage prayers for the intercession of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. Many years ago (I am in my fifties) I was encouraged by the waves of Hispanics coming to America. I thought Our Lord might use this to make us a more Catholic nation. More recent trends are discouraging. Hispanics are being infected by the welfare ethic. Support for abandoning God on the definition of Holy Matrimony is high among Hispanics, according to recent polls. The illegitimacy rate is also terribly high among this group. God wants children to be born to a woman who is married to a man. Tragically, Hispanic Americans just voted for a man who believes it should be legal to kill girls and boys after they survive the attempt to kill them in their mom's womb. Hispanics just voted for a man who thinks sexual immorality like that practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah is the equivalent of Holy Matrimony. This immorality is an abomination to God. He destroyed that city. The Bible says that in that city, every man, young and old, practiced this immorality. And Hispanics just voted for a man who is waging an immoral and unprovoked war against the Church because we adhere to God's laws, not man's immoral desires. Our Lady of Guadalupe, we ask your intercession to have God move the hearts of Hispanics to return to the Faith of their elders and for God to use the Hispanic waves of immigration to make America a more Christian nation, as we know He wants it to be. Thank you, Blessed Mother. Amen.

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