¡Las Posadas are here! The beloved Mexican tradition, 400 years strong, of reenacting the nativity story.
Wait, what? A bible story as a mainstream public celebration?
Yes, modern-day posadas are an authentic cultural mashup – combining Old World and New World traditions. In a bold remix, the Spanish priests merged the European Christmas Pageant with the Americas’ Aztec winter solstice celebrations. ¡Zas! It worked. The mashup became the posadas we lovingly enact today.
Ok, but what exactly is a “posada”?
In Spanish, posada means “inn” or “lodging.” Family, friends, and neighbors gather in a real-life musical for nine nights leading up to Christmas Eve. Like Christmas Caroling, except the finale is a traditional holiday feast (more on that yumminess in a bit). Our carolers form two groups, the innkeepers and the travelers, who parade from house to house, holding candles (sparklers too!) and singing their request for lodging – like Joseph and Mary searching for a room to birth the baby Jesus. At the first two houses, the innkeepers sing their reply of “no vacancy,” do not open their doors, and turn the travelers away. Then, at the third house, the innkeepers open their doors, and in song, they welcome the travelers. (Modern life-hack: the procession of travelers goes to three different doors of the same house!) There is a prayer portion of the evening too, the rosary is prayed in front of a folk-art nativity scene, a small clay manger housing figures of Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, and farm animals. That, in a nutcracker shell, is a posada.
What about the “yumminess”???
Now, the celebration begins!
Authentic aromas, festive music, kids playing, adults laughing, and everyone E A T S. Traditionally, dishes like tamales, pozole, and enchiladas brought together family and friends to help prepare the many ingredients to feed everyone. Cacique was made for sharing in these family moments! This year, you too can bring auténtico home with Christmas tamales. Each of our three recipes will bring festive flavor to your family. Keeping it traditional, Cacique Queso Oaxaca is the perfectly melted filling for Green Chile tamales. While for enhanced Red Chile tamales, Cacique Queso Cotija packs a robust flavor. And for your modern tamale twist –because new traditions must start sometime– try Cacique Chorizo & Cacique Queso Oaxaca tamales. Your family will love the joy and taste emanating from your home and table.
CACIQUE GREEN CHILE & OAXACA TAMALES
CACIQUE RED CHILE CHICKEN & COTIJA TAMALES
CACIQUE CHORIZO & OAXACA TAMALES
There is a special drink too. Ponche navideño is a spiced, Christmas fruit punch. Pro tip: Ask for it “con piquete”, meaning spiked with tequila or rum! Sweets and fruit round up the feasting –sugarcane chunks, candies, oranges, and guava.
Finally, the kids’ highlight of the night is a piñata or “bolo.” They sing and swing at the piñata –hoping to release a glorious down pouring of candy. Some families also do a “bolo” which can happen in two ways: orderly, as a take-home goodie bag of sweets, or frenzied, lofting handfuls of coins into delighted kids scrambling to catch as much as possible.
OMG! Sounds fantastic, but I’m not Hispanic or religious. Can I enjoy posadas?
At Cacique we celebrate the auténtico. Anyone can participate in las posadas. They’re not only a religious event; they’re celebrated as a cultural event too. They represent the coming together of family, friends, and neighbors to revel in good times and share fantastic eats. So, whether you’re new to posadas (¡Bienvenidos! We welcome you!) or you’ve celebrated them for generations (good to see you again!), please, enjoy your local posadas.