BIT Blog

An Iguanas Guide to Posadas

We want to teach you how to do Christmas Mexico style. While the Posada originated in Spain, it has become one of the largest holiday traditions in Mexico, Guatemala and the South-Western United States. Posadas last for 9 nights (or just one if you’re on the lazy, less traditional side) starting on the 16th of December and wrapping up on Christmas Eve. They usually happen between 8 and 10 in the evening, so pre-gaming early is essential. Why? Because you and your friends will be singing call and response to decide if you’re going to let them pass out inside on the couch …or outside in the grass. 

Posadas have taken place for the last 400 years when early Catholic friars wanted to merge Christmas with the Aztec celebration of the birth of their god Huitzilopochtli. The custom is that several families in any given neighborhood take a night to act as innkeepers. With a nativity scene to mark the spot, the pilgrims come to the door carrying candles and singing a petition to stay there for the night. Four of the pilgrims bring statues of Mary, Joseph and her donkey. 

At each of the potential inns the song dictates that the pilgrims are refused entry (sobriety notwithstanding.) The tequila donkey is close, which is important for the sanity of these exhausted travelers who just want a spot to relax. After lots of “no”s they finally reach the designated place for the party and the fun begins (or continues …it depends on how you look at it.) Tequila is a crucial element to the equation because let’s face it, the more you drink the louder you sing …and the less you feel your feet.  

At the party, tequila isn’t the only traditional guest. Piñatas and a delicious drinks like Ponche and Rompope about, along with more singing. You better hope you’re at least half-way to being tanked because at this point you’re expected to socialize with strangers and sing, which may or may not be your forte. For me, I’d prefer the latter but it all depends on the amount of tequila you ingest.