Action Alert!

Catholic Activity: Day Fifteen ~ Activities for the Fifteenth Day of Christmas


  • A pinata
  • candles
  • Mary and Joseph costumes

Prep Time






For Ages



Activity Types (1)

Linked Activities (0)

Files (0)

Linked Recipes (0)

Linked Prayers (0)


Feasts (1)

Seasons (0)

In Mexico, Christmas is an important holiday season with strong traditions. One of the most colorful traditions is the posada party, celebrated every evening from December 16 to 24. These celebrations commemorate Mary and Joseph's cold and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter. "Posada" in Spanish, simply means lodging or shelter. Nowadays, the posada has evolved into a religious and social celebration, paying a festive homage to the journey.

Each one of these nights before Christmas, a party is held in a home in the neighborhood. There is plenty of food and drink, with candies and fruit for the children. At dusk, all the guests gather outside the house. A small child dressed as an angel leads, followed by children carrying figures of Mary and Joseph. Boys and girls dressed in silver and gold robes constitute the procession, followed by the adults and musicians. Everyone sings melodious songs as they walk slowly along, carrying their lit candles. When they reach the house, the group divides in two. One half remains outside and begs for shelter from the other half, which is inside the house. The doors are then opened, the religious part of the celebration ends, and the fun begins.

The happy end to each posada has always been the piñata. A piñata is a fragile earthenware jar covered with paper mache, traditionally made in the shape of a star, to recall the one that so mysteriously guided the Three Kings to the newborn Jesus. Now piñatas come in all shapes and sizes and are filled with candy, toys, and sometimes money.

In the old days, the last posada held on December 24 was most popular, because it was followed by midnight Mass. In the provinces of Mexico, this tradition lives on.


Celebrate with your family and friends the Mexican tradition of Los Posadas. Before we bid farewell to the Christmas season it's a good time to reenact the Christmas story. It might not be possible to go from house to house but you could process from room to room singing or outside at the different doors of your home. You can dress a couple of children as Mary and Joseph and have them knock on the doors asking for shelter. Once the procession is over you can finish with a pinata and refreshments. To add to the party dress in colorful Mexican garb.

Outside Singers Inside Response

In the name of Heaven
I beg you for lodging,
for she cannot walk
my beloved wife.
This is not an inn
so keep going
I cannot open
you may be a rogue.

Don't be inhuman;
Have mercy on us.
The God of the heavens
will reward you for it.
You can go on now
and don't bother us,
because if I become annoyed
I'll give you a trashing.

We are worn out
coming from Nazareth.
I am a carpenter,
Joseph by name.
I don't care about your name:
Let me sleep,
because I already told you
we shall not open up.

I'm asking you for lodging
dear man of the house
Just for one night
for the Queen of Heaven.
Well, if it's a queen
who solicits it,
why is it at night
that she travels so alone?

My wife is Mary
She's the Queen of Heaven
and she's going to be the mother
of the Divine Word.
Are you Joseph?
Your wife is Mary?
Enter, pilgrims;
I did not recognize you.

May God pay, gentle folks,
your charity,
and thus heaven heap
happiness upon you.
Blessed is the house
that shelters this day
the pure Virgin,
the beautiful Mary.

Upon opening the doors at the final stop, the tune changes, the pilgrims enter, and all sing these final verses in unison:

Enter, holy pilgrims,
receive this corner,
for though this dwelling is poor,
I offer it with all my heart.

Oh, graced pilgrim,
oh, most beautiful Mary.
I offer you my soul
so you may have lodging.

Humble pilgrims,
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
I give my soul for them
And my heart as well.

Let us sing with joy,
all bearing in mind
that Jesus, Joseph and Mary
honor us by having come.