Christmas time is a time for remembering, honoring tradition, and joyous festivities with family and friends. Open your hearts and open your minds by visiting the customs and traditions of a new cultural experience this year. The Mexican culture is immersed in festivals and celebrations. This is the time of year for the popular tradition of Posada: the re-enactment of the nativity story of Joseph and Mary’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
Eighty to one hundred pilgrims, travel together down the neighborhood streets of Chandler, seeking lodging this night. Traveling in pairs by candlelight, with songs on their lips and hope in their hearts.
knock knock knock…
“En el nombre del cielo, yo os pido posada, pues no puede andar, mi esposa amada…”
(“In the name of the heaven I request lodging from you, because my beloved wife cannot walk…”)
“… no les puedo abrir, no vaya a ser un tunante…” (“…I can’t open up for you in case you’re a thief…”)
This dark cold night, they continue seeking safe haven. Met with bitter disappointment, turned away at every door, faithful still, the pilgrims continue their search.
knock knock knock…
“…Eres tú José, tu esposa es María, entren peregrinos, no los conocía… Entren Santos Peregrinos, reciban este rincón, que aunque es pobre la morada, os la doy de corazón.”
(“…You are Joseph. Your wife is Mary. Come in travelers! I didn’t recognize you… Enter holy pilgrims. Receive this haven, that although it’s a poor dwelling, I offer it to you from the heart.”)
The pilgrims are welcomed inside and the Christ child is lulled to sleep with a lullaby while children rock him gently in his cradle. Once the child is sweetly sleeping the celebration continues, the spoils of candy and peanuts pour from the shattered piñata. Jubilation is on the face of every child. Then community shares in a fabulous traditional feast of posole (soup), tamales, pastel de elote (corn pudding) and atole (chocolate drink).
May you recognize Christ in those you meet, open your heart and welcome them to the table.
Keeping the Mexican tradition of Posada alive in Chandler AZ, Fr. Jorge Eagar hosts the Posada in his home annually.
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