The tradition of Las Posadas and how it originated

Las Posadas has a deep religious meaning to it

Christmas traditions around the world can all look a little different.

Even here in South Texas, some of our traditions are influenced by the Mexican culture.

This is a look at the tradition of las posadas and how it originated.

If you grew up in South Texas or the Catholic church, you may have heard of las posadas or participated in one.

Posadas, some may say it’s similar to caroling. A group goes house to house singing Christmas or religious songs and at one point the singing group gets invited in for holiday treats and festivities. But, however, it has a deeper religious meaning to it.

Las posadas was a tradition brought to Latin America by the Spanish and adopted in both Mexico and Guatemala.

Starting December 16 at dusk, families, friends and neighbors dress up as angels, or shepherds-- and two people are dressed as Mary and Joseph.

The group reenacts the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph as they walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem in their neighborhood.

At each home they stop and the group sings a song in hopes to have a place to stay.

They are turned down at each home until the end of the event, when the final home eventually invites the group in for food and festivities.

The journey symbolizes how Mary and Joseph were turned down the night of Christ’s birth until one inn keeper made room for them in a manger.

Posadas repeat for eight nights with a different home, accepting the group in for an evening festival.

On December 24 the ninth and final night of the posada, everyone attends midnight mass followed by a big meal.

Even though rooted in religion, las posadas had become a popular tradition in South Texas for both Catholics and non-Catholics -- the gathering with friends and families, singing songs door to door and sharing food and drinks -- which brings neighborhoods and communities together during the holiday season.

About the Authors:

Gretchen Nowroozi was born and raised in Houston. She started working at KSAT as an intern in 2019 after graduating from Michigan State University. She is a producer for Good Morning San Antonio.

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.