During the holiday season, many people share all the traditions of their families. My family isn't big on traditions, but the one thing we do every single year right before Christmas is celebrate Las Posadas.
This Catholic tradition of Las Posadas is popular in many Latin American countries. In English, “Las Posadas” means “the inns” which is meant to signify Joseph and Mary’s journey as they try to find refuge before she gives birth to Jesus Christ. This celebration lasts for nine days and ends on Christmas Eve.
Because this is such a widely celebrated tradition, there are most likely variations in how people celebrate, but three basic elements always remain.
During a posada, we gather at someone’s home for this reenactment. There is usually a group of people on the inside of the home and a group outside holding candles, and they go back and forth singing a song from the points of view of Joseph and the Innkeeper. At the end of the song, everyone comes back inside to show how the couple was finally offered a safe place to stay before Mary gave birth.
Once everyone is gathered inside together, we pray together using the rosary. This is followed by a feast, which is usually a potluck when my family celebrates. The rest of the night is spent eating and spending time with friends and family. The best part is that this occurs every night of Las Posadas, which is partly why it is one of my favorite holiday traditions.
When my family celebrates Las Posadas, we usually do so with neighbors and family friends. Others may celebrate at their local church. However, that isn’t possible this year as many churches have cancelled their events, and large gatherings are not allowed under coronavirus restrictions.
Coming to the realization that my family would not be able to celebrate this tradition like we usually do was a little disappointing, especially since it is one of the only ones we do every year. However, I am still glad I get to spend this holiday season with my immediate family.
Still, I tried to think of ways to celebrate this tradition of ours while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines when I realized we could have our posadas with just the members of my household. Instead of doing this every night, we could save it for Christmas Eve and spend the night together. Half of us can go outside and sing while the rest stay inside. We could pray with the rosary together and then sit down together for dinner. We could even cook together to lessen the burden on my mom while getting more quality time together.
It makes me happy to know that there is still a way to keep up with these traditions even if they do have to be adjusted a little.
Although our circumstances look very different this year than what we are used to, I hope everyone can find a way to share their traditions and keep them going while staying safe this holiday season.