Friday, December 16, 2011

Advent 2011: Las Posadas

Throughout Latin America and much of the Spanish speaking world, today begins a celebration called Las Posadas.  Las Posadas is a time to remember Mary and Joseph’s long journey in search of a place to stay.  During this celebration, children roam the streets going door to door in search of someone to let them in.  The children are dressed as the angel, Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, and shepherds.  They are followed by the adults who carry candles.  At each door, the children stop and they sing a song Pidiendo Posadas or “begging for shelter”.  The children sing and the people in the homes answer that they have no space… until, one home finally lets the singers enter. 

Once inside the home, the festivities begin.  Everyone says a prayer then enjoys tamales and warm punch, or “Ponche Navideno”, and the breaking of a star shaped pinata.  This tradition begins nine days before Christmas on December 16th and continues through Christmas Day.

Christmas Adventus Day 16:  Hang a piñata filled with small toys somewhere safe or fill a paper bag with small toys and tie it at the top then hang it from a high location.  If you made Ponche Navideno earlier in the day, give everyone a warm cup to sip while you read the introduction to today’s advent.

Watch this fun YouTube video of a Disney explanation of Las Posadas:

What traditions do you celebrate each Christmas?  Which traditions are special to your family culture?  Although your family may not recognize their family’s cultural heritage, our family traditions have evolved over the years to include old and new traditions that make a culture special to only your family.

Who makes the preparations for your celebrations and traditions?  Can you remember what preparations we made for Jesus arrival a few weeks ago?  (we built a manger)  We learned a few weeks ago that God made many preparations for baby Jesus arrival. However, many people were not ready for Him to come.  The Bible tells us that Jesus will come a second time.  Hebrews9: 27,28 says, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”  Jesus will come again to save us.  How can we be ready?  John 3:16 tells says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  And, Luke 12:35-48 tells us that we do not know when the Lord will come and so we must be always be ready.  We must do the work that the Lord has given us.  Be ready!

Now, take turns hitting your piñata (or filled paper bag) with a stick while wearing a blindfold.  Hit the bag until it breaks and the toys fall out.  Be sure to do this somewhere with plenty of space for swinging the stick!

If you are not yet ready to meet Jesus when he comes again, please find a pastor in a local church that can pray with you and help you to prepare for His coming.

For our allergy-free version of “Ponche Navideno” and other information about Las Posadas, go to Christmas Adventus 2011 .  I have placed links to the song “Pidiendo Posadas” with English translation and other fun videos on that page.

For our other Advent activities, see "Christmas Adventus 2011: Celebrating Allergy-Free".

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