With the Christmas Star being visible Monday night for the first time in about 800 years, it’s only natural that thoughts will drift to a certain couple that just so happened to be expecting a very special baby some 2,000 or so years ago.

One of the more beautiful traditions that prior to this year has been easily accessible to El Pasoans and those visiting the area during Christmas time is the Posada.  This celebration is common in the Hispanic culture and recreates the Nativity in some way.

Sadly, due to COVID, Posadas are hard to find at the moment but if this were a “normal” year, we would be nearing the end of the Posada season as they are traditionally held between December 16 and December 23.  Catholic churches tend facilitate these celebrations and St. Anthony’s Seminary is particularly well known in the area for theirs.

For those that are not familiar with a Posada, it can be as simple as a party in which attendees are divided into two groups.  One group remains inside and another group that is to go outside and represents Mary and Joseph asking for shelter.  These groups will then sing a series of Villancicos or carols to each other through a closed door in which the outside group asks for shelter and the inside group denies them entry several times before finally letting them in and beginning the celebration.

Of course, the description above is a simple synopsis.  Some Posadas truly go all out and have people that dress up as Mary, Joseph, and others from the Nativity while others are more low key. But whether the Posada is humble or elaborate, it’s sure to be beautiful.

There is no denying that this is a particularly Catholic celebration but at its heart and core, Posadas are ultimately about inclusion.  The hosts of every Posada I’ve ever been invited to have never dreamed of “checking credentials”.  When it came time to let the outside group in and begin the celebration, everybody was welcome.  This is one holiday tradition that I’m especially looking forward to resuming next year.

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