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Catholic Activity: Las Posadas III

Las Posadas (the inns) is a Christmas novena which begins on December 16. This custom is eminently Mexican in origin. It is strictly religious and it prevails among the people who are better instruted in the Faith. Las Posadas was introduced in order to prsent in a lively manner the story of the birth of Christ.


Nine homes of families are selected in advance for the las posadas (the inns). The families taking part in las posadas join in procession every evening during the novena. They carry candles and stop at a different home each night. During the procession they sing hymns depicting the story of Mary and Joseph traveling on their way with the donkey looking for a place of lodging.

When the procession arrives at the designated home for that evening, Mary and Joseph in their songs will ask for a place for the night. The song that is sung in answer by the family there indicates there is no lodging for them. Each night of the novena Mary and Joseph are sent away. But before they go, the entire procession, singing, passes through all the rooms of the home of that evening.

At the home for the ninth evening the family prepares the Christmas crib with the manger and the statue figures of Mary, Joseph, Infant, etc., similar to those we use throughout the United States.

The novena of Las Posadas is entirely Catholic in origin; it was introduced by the people themselves in Mexico with the approval of the clergy.

In many places refreshments have been made a part of Las Posadas at the nine homes visited during the novena. Among the rich, Las Posadas becomes a veritable party where champagne, wine, and all good foods are served the participants.

Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994

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