Image by Shutterstock/ Marcos Castillo
Image by Shutterstock/ Marcos Castillo

Posadas Are Like Christmas Caroling, Except Our Tradition Is More Like a Fiesta.

For many in the Latino community, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ doesn’t solely happen on Christmas Day. Instead, we like to commemorate the entire journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem — by having a Christmas party for nine straight days, otherwise known as posadas. 

But What Exactly Happens During a Posada?

Posadas are like Christmas caroling, except our tradition is more like a fiesta. 

This religious festival, celebrated in Mexico and the US, begins on December 16 through 24. However, posadas can generally take place any time during the Christmas holiday. 

Just like Easter, Latinos like to go all out when it comes to posadas, which means costumes could be involved. I have fond memories of participating in posadas where people would dress up and lead a procession to various houses (typically people that are expecting you). A child dressed as an angel would lead the procession with musicians and singers following behind, and we’d all have a candle in hand. 

We’d sing outside someone’s home with the hope that they’d give us shelter — just like Joseph and Mary asked for lodging. But this ritual doesn’t always include a warm welcome. Just as Joseph and Mary were rejected during their journey, posada participants may have to go to another house until someone lets them in. 

It’s a scripted tradition, but fun for children because sometimes we had no idea if anyone would let us in. Eventually, when a host lets in the people in the procession, they are welcomed with warm treats like hot chocolate or champurrado, pan dulce, and if you’re really lucky, get to break a piñata. 

Last year, posadas were put on hold because of the pandemic. This year, however, more people are hosting posadas around Arizona. 

Image by Shutterstock/ Marcos Castillo

Check out some of the posada events happening this year:

Las Posadas: A Journey to the Manger

When: Sunday, Dec. 12

Where: 7373 E. Dixileta Dr., Scottsdale, AZ 85266

This reenactment takes guests down an outside lit desert pathway stopping at three doors before arriving at the final fourth door where Mary and Joseph and guests take part in a special celebration. 

Enjoy live music, food, and activities for kids. 

Click here for more info. 

Club Dwntwn Posada

When: Saturday, Dec. 18

Where: 702 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004

This is more of a posada party for adults. Enjoy music, presents, a taco bar, drinks, and much more. 

Click here for more info.

Posada Navideña

When: Sunday, Dec. 19

Where: 5003 W Marlette Ave., Glendale, AZ 85301

This is a family event, happening at a park, with music, food, and lots of activities for kids. 

Click here for more info.

Las Posadas

When: Sunday, Dec. 19

Where: Santa Catalina Catholic Church, 14380 N Oracle Rd., Tucson, AZ 85739

This family event will have piñatas, singing, and lots of Latino treats. 

Click here for more info.