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As December approaches, each year I am asked questions by friends and acquaintances regarding Latin America’s celebration of the holidays. American friends are looking for ways to hold a party for their children. School teachers can help with the planning, as well as community activists and volunteers who wish to create a festive atmosphere. This year was no different. I had chosen to focus on the posada, which is one of my favourite Mexican traditions. In Mexico the fiestas decembrinas begin unofficially with the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and last through January 6 when they celebrate the Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day) but the festivities are in full swing with the beginning of the posadas. From December 16-24, Mexicans enjoy the posadas. They actually started as a Catholic novenario (nine days of religious observance based on the nine months that María carried Jesus in her womb) 🙈 The posadas re-enact Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter; the word posada means “lodging” in Spanish 😁 
Las Posadas is an annual religious festival that’s celebrated in Mexico and other parts of Latin America every December (16-24). Translating to ‘The Inns’ in Spanish, Las Posadas is an important part These are the festive Christmas events. Over the nine nights of celebrations, parties are held at different people’s homes. Before each gathering, all the guests form a procession to mark Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn on the night of Jesus’s birth. An angel leads the march, which is symbolic of Mary’s and Joseph’s finding refuge in a stable after they couldn’t find lodging in Bethlehem. The parties are joyous occasions, including prayers, food, music, fireworks, and piñatas! 
Commongroundinternational.com also describes how for 9 nights neighbors get together in the streets and form a procession while singing and knocking on neighbourr’s doors. Mary takes a miniature Joseph-like donkey with her, and the procession is led by faroles (small candle lanterns). The procession goes from house to house in neighborhoods and requests lodging by singing a series of verses, where they are turned away – also in verse – by the inhabitants, who act as innkeepers. They’re are telling they have no place at the inn but are allowed to stay in the stable. 
Stefania Neff, journeymexico.com, in time, posadas started to be held in neighborhoods and people’s homes, becoming a more familiar and tightly-knit occasion, as well as preparation for Christmas. At the beginning of a posada, people are divided in two groups, the ones “outside” representing Mary and Joseph, and the ones “inside” representing innkeepers. Then everyone sings the posada litany together, re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search, going back and forth until they are finally “admitted” to an inn. The party officially begins after this custom. Posadas have spread to other countries — such as Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela; the celebrations vary by location.