5 Must-Have Elements of a Traditional Mexican Posada

In Culture by Belen Molina

Posadas are traditional holiday parties that are celebrated in Mexico during the nine days leading up to Christmas. The word posada means “lodge.” Traditionally, these parties are meant to commemorate the historic pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for lodging as they awaited the birth of baby Jesus. Nowadays, however, posadas are no longer exclusively religious in nature, but rather special occasions in which family, friends, and colleagues gather to celebrate together.

Over the years, posadas have evolved according to the place and the family traditions of those who celebrate them. However, there are a few traditional elements that remain unchanged and that are found at most Mexican posada parties:

1. Piñatas

The traditional piñata is shaped like a star and has seven points, each of them representing the seven deadly sins. Nowadays, people fill piñatas with all sorts of candy, but traditionally, piñatas were filled with fresh fruit, peanuts, and sugar cane.



2. The Posada Song

It is customary for guests to participate in a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging through a song, which is sung in a question-and-answer form. To do this, guests should be divided into two groups: those who are seeking shelter and those who are offering it. It is also common for guests to hold candles or sparklers, known as luces de bengala, while singing the song. Click here to obtain the lyrics to the traditional posada song.

3. Ponche

This sweet, warm, and fruity drink is prepared with seasonal fruits, like guava and tejocote, dried fruit, cinnamon, and piloncillo. Its distinctive sweet-spicy aroma is absolutely delicious. Click here for a recipe of this traditional holiday punch.

4. Buñuelos

Buñuelos are the ultimate posada party dessert. They are crispy, paper-thin sheets of deep-fried dough that are drizzled in syrup or covered in cinnamon sugar. Forget your table manners when devouring these guys; your fingers will get sticky and licking them is a must.

5. Tamales

Tamales are probably the most popular holiday food in Mexico. This delicious dish is made of masa, or corn-based dough, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Tamales are prepared with all kinds of seasonings and fillings, and they can be sweet or savory.



Gift your upcoming holiday party guests with a truly unique experience by incorporating some or all of the elements of a traditional Mexican posada. Felices Fiestas!




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