The Posadas are a set of mexican celebrations. They are nine, begining in December 16 and ending in December 24. This way, the Christmas eve coincides with the ninth posada.
They were religious holidays to remember the journey of Mary and Joseph, from Nazareth to Belem and how they asked for Posada (Shelter or Hospitality). Now Posadas are pretty secular holidays.
Families, friends and neighbours gather in a home to celebrate. They sing the "Posada Song" (Canción para pedir posada):
En nombre del cielo
Yo os pido posada
pues no puede andar
mi esposa amada.
For heavens sake
I ask you for hospitality
Because my beloved wife
Is really tired.
When the song ends everybody come into the house and the party starts.
People drinks Ponche -a hot beverage made from fruits-, Rompope -a sort of mexican eggnog, and other drinks.
Grown-ups dance and children break piñatas. Some nasty, mischievous boys can sing a certain "piñata song":
La piñata tiene cacaaaa,
Cacahuates de a monton.
The pinata contains peeeeee,
Peanuts, peanuts, they are a bunch.
There are mexican food (pozole, tamales, tacos, tostadas, etc.), snacks, sandwichs and sweeties.
What a great post! Thank you for sharing these traditions and new vocabulary with us :)
I listened to the song many times and it's very nice. I wish we had celebrations like that here.
I remember we sang los posadas songs in fourth grade and we watched a movie on it... thanks for sharing the info with us
It is traditions like this that make me feel it is right to say Happy Holidays at Christmas time. Christmas not the only thing going. From U.S. Thanksgiving to New Years there are many special days the hold importance in our religious and cultural lives.