Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lillian. Lillian Wonders, “what is Las Posadas” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lillian!

Have you been WONDERing with us for a while? If so, you may already know a thing or two about the winter holidays. Maybe you’ve read about the eight nights of Hanukkah or the 12 days of Christmas. Today’s Wonder of the Day is about another winter tradition—Las Posadas!

What is Las Posadas? It’s a nine-day festival celebrated in Mexico and other countries in Latin America. Some people in the southwestern U.S. also observe the holiday. It begins on December 16 and ends on December 24. In English, “posadas” translates to “inns” or “lodging.” 

Las Posadas remembers the journey of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her husband, Joseph. According to the Christian faith, the two traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. They were seeking shelter and a safe place for Mary to give birth to Jesus. 

However, Mary and Joseph were turned away from all the inns they came to. Finally, one innkeeper allowed them to take shelter in his stable. Christians believe this is where Jesus was born. 

The Las Posadas celebration stretches back to 1586. That year, a friar near Mexico City held special Catholic masses each night for nine days before Christmas. Since then, the festival has evolved.

How do people celebrate Las Posadas today? In many ways, the festival reenacts the story of Mary and Joseph. Each night, children dress up as angels. They then march through town, leading their families and others. At each home, they sing Christmas carols and ask for lodging.

Traditionally, each home turns the procession away. However, the residents often provide refreshments. Many offer the group a drink called ponche. This is a fruit punch made with sugar, cinnamon, and fruits like guavas and oranges. 

Eventually, a final home allows the group to enter. There, a celebration follows. This often includes a feast, fireworks, and even a piñata. The observers also take part in mass.

Does your family celebrate Las Posadas? If so, you know it can be a very special time. It’s a chance for people to gather and think about the meaning behind the Christmas holiday. What traditions are important in your family? Spend time today thinking about what makes them special.

Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.2 ,CCRA.R.10, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.W.2, ., CCRA.L.2, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3

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