Christmas Festival #3 – Las Posadas
– December 15 to 23
Last night we have the chance to visit one of what is called the Inns
that are part of Las Posadas not translation needed. Just down the street from our home in Antigua
a family that owns a small restaurant
was the host family acting as the Inn. The picture above is what the family had placed in the entrance of there restaurant. The streets in front of the restaurant were packed with people waiting to see the event unfold.
We were lucky to be invited in to see this before the festival took over.
For nine nights in row neighborhoods in Antigua Guatemala
organize a search for the inns
, reenacting how Mary and Joseph looked in vain for a room in Bethlehem
. Each night a procession knocks at a participant’s door.
All are invited in and offered punch, cakes, chocolates, tamales, chuchitos (“little dogs” a kind of tamale) or whatever the hosts will offer.
This is repeated over the evenings.
Each night, images of Mary and Joseph are carried to the host houses and are left there overnight. For many, this is a deeply religious act of faith, for just as many others, however, it’s chance to invite neighbors and friends in for some good old fashioned secular partying. And yes, there is music, bravura fireworks and the relentless pierce and pelt of firecrackers.
It sets the car alarms
and dogs to howling, which becomes part of the merriment. Honest.