Two years ago my mother, my sisters and I went to Leon, Guanajuato in Mexico for Christmas. We did many things. We got to see many of the Mexican traditions. When we went we stayed with my grandmother. (We call her mama Socorro) I love being with her and it is cool because she has a hospital in her house so I always get to see the new born babies.
In Mexico we have a Christmas tradition called posada. Posada starts on December 16th to December 24th. Every home will have a Nativity scene. The hosts of the home are the innkeepers, and the neighborhood children and adults are Los Peregrinos, who have to request lodging through singing a simple chant. All carry small lit candles in their hands and four teenagers of about the same height are chosen to carry Los Peregrinos, which are two small statues of St. Joseph leading a donkey, which Virgen Mary is riding sidesaddle. The head of the procession will have little lantern. Sometimes we choose two people to dress as Mary and Joseph. Here is the small chant we sing :
En el nombre del cielo,
yo os pido posada,
pues no puede andar,
mi esposa amada.
AquÃ no es mesÃ³n,
no les puedo abrir,
no vaya a ser un tunante.
Repeat the same verses to two more houses then at the last house they give you shelter.
Usually we have a bible reading and say prayers. After that we have either a fancy party or a small get together with friends and family. The host usually provides food for their guests. Traditionally tamales and a hot drink like atole or champurrado. Atole is a thick, warm drink made with masa and sweetened with cinnamon and brown sugar. Champurrado is a thick, rich beverage using Mexican chocolate and sometimes flavored with a tiny bit of anise. Champurrado is not as thick as atole, but both are sweetened with piloncillo, a Mexican sugar. The children usually receive candy bags filled with Mexican candy, an orange and peanuts.
During the celebration they carry a statue of baby Jesus in a blanket and two people rock the baby statue gently and they sing the following song.
A la ru ru Mi Dios
A la ru ru Mi NiÃ±o,
Duerme, duerme, Mi SeÃ±or,
Duerme, duerme, Mi Amor
The children’s celebration of receiving presents is not until January 6th, “el dÃa de Reyes”, the day of the Kings, or the Wise Men Day. It is the Wise Men who brought the presents to Baby Jesus, thus, they bring the toys to the boys and girls who have been good. The children place their shoes by the window, so the Wise Men place the present in the shoe. If the present is bigger than the shoe, it will be placed next to it. Many children, get a new pair of shoes for a present.
Wow that was the a life changing experience for me. I learned so much about my heritage and i had fun doing it. I hope i have encouraged you to visit mexican countries and join a posada. It is an awsome experience and was filled with many unforgetable memories.
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