In Mexico we have an endless list of traditions for this Christmas season, which vary depending on the region; what never changes is the colorfulness and folklore.
We all love this time of the year, not only because of Christmas and the New Year, we love celebrating the posadas, since it’s an important festivity that gathers the family and friends. Now, we’ll share with you some fun facts of the famous posadas in Mexico that you need to know:
1. So they say, that thanks to Friar Diego de Soria, the first posadas were celebrated in the colonial Mexico, around the year 1587. Back then, they used to celebrate “misas de aguinaldo” (Christmas mass), which were called like that because on these masses they offered a gift or Christmas box to the kids; this consisted of fruits, candies or toys. On the posadas the “aguinaldo” is represented by snacks.
It’s also said that posadas go all the way back to the time when the indigenous people celebrated during the winter or panquetzaliztli the advent of Huitzilopochtli, God of the War.
2. During the 19th century in Mexico, if you went to one posada, it was a MUST for you to attend the rest of them without missing one. Today, we celebrate them since the beginning of the month of December, but originally, they started on 16th and ended on the 24th. This is a representation of the the Bible story of Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter, which lasted nine days.
3. On the nine days of posadas, you have to break a piñata, which has different meanings; it is believed that the piñata represents the devil and by breaking it, you shoo away negativity. There’s another believe in which breaking a piñata with 7 spikes, symbolises you breaking away from the 7 deadly sins. The candy and snacks inside a piñata represent the abundance that will come to your life.
4. Food is essential in our lives, and Mexican gastronomy has a large variety of delicious dishes; cod, romeritos, pozole, tamales, punch and atole, are some of the traditional meals and drinks for the holiday season.
5. In some regions of Mexico, they still preserve very old traditions, for example, in the town of Zinacantan, in the Tzotzil region of Chiapas, the nine months of pregnancy of the Virgin are reminisced by eating sweet pumpkin in front of the church’s atrium.
6. At the Yucatan peninsula, the child procession begins on the 16th of December, which is the original date for the beginning of posadas. The group of children sing along carrying branches they decorate and knock on doors.The first verse of the song goes like this: Oranges, limes and lemons, the Virgin is prettier than flowers. On a little portal made out of lime and sand, were Jesuschrist was born on Christmas Eve. It finalizes with the petition: If you don’t give me my Christmas box, my Christmas box, God will make you pay.
A lot of people believe Mexico is various countries within a country because of its vast diversity on food, clothing, traditions and cuisine. As us Mexicans say “¡Como México no hay dos!” (Like Mexico there’s no other).
Share with us what traditions they have in your country and would like others to know about!