“… and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7, NIV
You’re probably familiar with this passage of Scripture, but you might not be familiar with a Posada. A Posada is a prominent way of celebrating Christmas throughout Latin America that features a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph asking for neighborly kindness and repeatedly being told there is no room at the inn. The evening culminates with the couple being given room at the inn (the “posada”), an act that set the stage for the birth of Jesus.
The Local Version
Every December, Warrenville Youth & Family Services and the Warrenville Hispanic Council hosts a Posada event at Clifford Johnson Elementary School. (It took place on December 3 this year.) It features food, songs, crafts, a piñata, and children acting as Mary and Joseph. Mary and Joseph lead the crowd in call-and-response songs, asking, “Do you have room in your house for me?”
“It’s a very participatory event,” says Angela Mains, Director of Warrenville Youth & Family Services. “The focus is hospitality.”
Along with the re-enactment, the Posada includes food, much of it donated from area restaurants—all of which is part of the hospitality theme.
A Community Highlight
Alejandra Parra of Warrenville, who leads about 60 Warrenville Hispanic Council volunteers who plan and organize the event, said many in her community look forward to the Posada every year.
“The people in the community know the Posada and they are waiting for the Posada,” Parra said. “They enjoy it a lot.” More than 300 people packed the gym at the Warrenville elementary school this year.
Churches in the Warrenville community get involved in the tradition by donating food or small gifts to be included in goody bags for children who attend the event, Mains said.
The majority of the Posada crowd has been Hispanic in the past, but Mains said area residents of other ethnic backgrounds are invited to come experience the Mexican Christmas tradition for themselves.
“It’s a great way for people interested in crossing cultures to come experience it locally,” she said.