By Lesley Tellez
December 16th marks the kick-off for Las Posadas, the nine days of festivities that lead up to Christmas in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But what exactly is a posada?
Traditionally they were religious events, first introduced by Spanish friars evangelizing to indigenous people. Theposadas taught the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem through song, nativity scenes and nine days of Masses. Eventually, over the course of a few hundred years, the posadas moved from the churches into people’s homes and neighborhoods. Today, the posadas have mostly become private parties that mix some religious elements with food and drinks. A piñata is a must, as are tamales, ponche and buñuelos.