Review by Ariadna Sánchez
Las Posadas have started. It’s time to celebrate. Christmas is almost here!
A delightful book to read today is Las Posadas: a Hispanic Christmas Celebration written by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith and photographed by Lawrence Migdale. This informative non-fiction book illustrates Las Posadas (a religious celebration of Mary and Joseph looking for shelter).
Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain. It’s celebrated mainly in Mexico, Latin America and in some parts of the United States. Las Posadas begin on December 16th and they end on December 24th.
Posada means lodging or inn in English. Las Posadas are full of spirituality, enthusiasm and hope. During Las Posadas, the catholic community gathers to remember the struggles that Mary and Joseph faced to find shelter before the arrival of Jesus. This religious-cultural celebration is based on the novena (nine days of prayer) used in the Catholic Church. After each prayer of the novena, the madrina (host) gives tamales, fruit punch, and candies. The piñatas are the most expected treat for the youngest members of the community.
Las Posadas: a Hispanic Christmas Celebration by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith and photographs by Lawrence Migdale is based on the experience of eleven-year old Kristen Lucero and her family. They lived in Española, New Mexico. You and your family will learn about the different ways in which the community participates in a posada. At the end of the book you will find the bilingual "Song of Las Posadas".
I’m from Oaxaca, Mexico and this celebration is a huge festivity that brings together the magic of the holidays with the spiritual beliefs of a community. This especial event is also filled with Nochebuenas (poinsettias), faroles (lanterns), piñatas, and the traditional nacimiento (nativity representation).
Let me share with you the lyrics of one of the songs children and adults sing after the prayers to encourage the host to share some treats.
- Anda madrina, no te dilatesCon la canasta, de los cacahuates
- Anda madrina, sal del rincónCon la canasta de la colación
- Echen confites y canelonesPa’ los muchachos, que son muy tragonesEnjoy the holiday season. Remember, reading gives you wings. Read this book today!