lunes, 13 de diciembre de 2010

Entren, Peregrinos!

This afternoon, I attended my first, and likely only, posada for this year.

The ladies from my Monday neighborhood Bible study wanted to have a little party before Christmas, and decided that we should have a posada. It was quite possibly the smallest posada in the history of posadas, but we had a good time and hit all the bases nonetheless.

Posadas are parties traditionally held the nine nights before Christmas. A few people dress up as Mary and Joseph (or hold a maquette of Mary and Joseph) searching for room in the inn (or posada). The host family keeps all the other guests out in the cold while the posada song is sung. The guests all sing a verse, begging for room at the "inn" while the host family sings the following verse, staunchly refusing them. After about 8 verses of this banter, those inside finally "realize" who is asking for shelter and warmly invites everyone inside.

For our posada, I was able to stay inside, by virtue of bringing Clara as my guest, as did Panchita with her preschooler grandson, and Antonia, who's older and getting rather frail. Therefore, the "younger" ones, Socorro (roughly 60 years old), Chayito (edging on 50 years old) and Diana, Chayito's 19-year-old daughter braved the cold. I can't say I've sung that song since I lived at NPH, with their posadas-that-never-end, and I really enjoyed it--brought back good memories. I was starting to wonder if I'd ever sing it again.

Once those "young ones" came inside, we prayed a rosary and sang a Christmas carol when we paused for every mystery. After that, of course we ate. No posada is complete without food. Panchita made tamales (some with chorizo . . . mmm . . . ) and Rosario made ponche and bought a cake. Clara, surprisingly, ate a bit of everything. All that was missing was a pinata.

And as I hate pinatas, I was perfectly OK with that.

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For more information on posadas, read Nine Days to Christmas by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida. It won a Caldecott Medal in 1960 and is one of my favorite books . . . just gorgeous!

7 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Must have missed it... Why do you hate pinatas?

Krystal dijo...

Thanks for the book recommendation! I'll have to see if our library has it or can acquire it for me.

Jill dijo...

Anonimo--they're just so stinkin' dangerous. My first ever pinata experience was in my Spanish class my first year of high school. We were hitting the pinata with a aluminum baseball bat. One of the boys swung with all his might and the bat accidentally slipped out of his hands and took a chunk out of the cinderblock wall--thank goodness no one was in the way!

And with little kids, they're all just focused on the candy and try to dive in while the kid hitting it is still swinging . . . I haven't seen any accidents yet. But I fear that it's just a matter of time.

Krystal--I bet the library does have it. That's where I got a copy when I read it to my first and second graders that year I taught Spanish. It must be out of print, though, as I just looked it up on Amazon.com and saw that a new copy started at 124 USD! Yikes! Even the used copies started at 24USD . . .

I guess I'd better get myself a used copy soon, before that goes up!

Anónimo dijo...

OK. After many, many years I've got past my initial probs with the pinatas. Seems destructive, especially in a society that is sentimental and values artitstry. But, but, how are sweet childen supposed to beat the hell out of a giant papier machet panda or Mickey Mouse??? LOL! Then there is the percieved greed...I think I finally get it...kids don't (shouldn't) have those hang-ups; and properly supervised, aren't really likely to do one another an injury. Whew! "DALE"!

Linda Lou and Senor, Too dijo...

Ahhhhhhh, I love the posada. We did hear some singing last night, but not sure from which barrio it was coming. The singing soon turned into a screaming match and then we heard car horns blasting away for about 5 minutes. we will see what tonight will bring. Pinatas are swaying in a few places in Alamos, just awaiting their destiny!

Jill dijo...

Anonimo--
Other than the danger factor, I've got no objection to pinatas. But I like your point about destroying art. It reminds me of my niece's last birthday party, where she dressed up as Snow White and had a Snow White pinata. Fortunately, they beat the right Snow White to death. But I sure did find it more than a little odd! But if that's who she wanted to beat to a pulp, more power to her.

I prefer the traditional clay pot pinatas--they actually break.

Linda--here's hoping you'll be able to find it one of these nights! (And that all ended well at the one you overheard . . . yikes!)

Megan dijo...

We live really close to a big Catholic cathedral in Chicago. I passed it on the way to the store last night, and saw there was a posada! I didn't see any singing (which I hope took place inside because it was only 20 degrees out!), but I saw kids in costume (shepherds, Mary, etc, but no donkeys) leaving the church to go hit at the pinata in the parking lot.