It is time again to celebrate Las Posadas Navideñas or how many call them “Las Posadas Mexicanas,” the traditional Mexican reenactment of the search for lodging that Mary and Jesus did nine days before Christmas.
I feel so happy when I hear that throughout the Southwest of the U.S. In cities like Santa Fe, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Sedona, and Phoenix amongst others, there are churches, cultural centers, museums and families who reunite to celebrate this tradition.
Hispanic-Americans living in the U.S. start their Posadas celebration on the 16th of December with a candle-lit procession that creates a beautiful and inviting scene. Seeing many young Hispanics participate and love the tradition dearly, is pretty common.
Las Posadas started on the 16th century when St. Ignatius Loyola used an Aztec festival that honored their sun God to teach about the birth of Christ. Initially this celebration was a novena or nine days of prayer at church. Over time, people started Las Posadas in their homes with family and neighbors.
Bring Out the Mexican Tamales
The celebration ends every night with typical Mexican foods, especially tamales served along with warm ponche made with Tejocones, a fruit similar to an apple, and piloncillos with small cubes of unrefined sugar cane.
I am no expert at cooking or rating Mexican tamales, but I am extremely happy to find fresh home made Mexican tamales made by a real Mexican close to where I live. All because I am close to “Spanish Harlem.” They are delicious and only cost $2.50. Am I eating the real deal? I don’t know but they are cooked in the corn or plantain leaf and have the mole poblano flavor I enjoy.
In the 2008 Daily News article: “Posadas Tradición Con La Que Se Identifica El Inmigrante,” professor of Religions in Latin America at the University of Florida Manuel A. Vásquez, explains that during Las Posadas serving delicious foods rich in calories symbolize abundance.
We would love to participate in this traditional Mexican holiday but after searching for a while I found there is no one Posada Navideña happening in Manhattan or at least I don’t know of one.
There are no posadas in NYC probably because our Hispanic neighborhood “El Barrio” is primarily Puerto Rican; instead our family will be celebrating Parrandas this Saturday at El Museo del Barrio.
This may start to change very soon as more and more Mexicans arrive to “Spanish Harlem” or “El Barrio.” If there is any Mexican American knowing where to go in Manhattan to celebrate Las Posadas please let us know to spread the word!