Expat-terns at a Glance

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Posada 2017: Christmas Begins

So, I am back in beautiful Sonora, Mexico in the city of Hermosillo. The last time I was here, I attended my friend's, (Mexican kween) Balba's, sister's wedding. There was a glamorous ceremony and multiple receptions of which some details are a little blurry. (Blame the palomas). But, it was a wonderful first time in Mexico nevertheless.

Los Pelegrinos ...
En el nombre del cielo,
yo os pido posada,
pues no puede andar,
mi esposa amada.

Oh, how I have missed you! Tacos! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

However, this time around, I have come just in time for Christmas, which is kind of a big deal here. But, as ... well ... I am Jewish, I am a little inept when it comes to this holiday and in extension Catholicism as a whole.

Los Hosteleros ...
Aquí no es mesón,
sigan adelante,
no les puedo abrir,
no vaya a ser un tunante.

And, in addition, as Mexico has its own traditions too, I am certainly out of my element, which is leading into a magical season for me of fun and quirky unknowns.

To start, I learned what a posada is!

Posadas are Christmas parties that take place in the days before December 24th. Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) is in fact the main day to celebrate here when family dinners and gift exchanges occur, not Christmas Day.

Los Pelegrinos ...
No sean inhumanos
Dennos caridad
Que el dios de los cielos
Se lo premiará.

Posadas can be big or small, intimate or not as much. And, in the great spectrum that is religiosity, posadas rank rather low, so generally, dressing casual is okay. However, these parties are supposed to pay homage and make reference to the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem (in this case: María y José, Nazaret, and Belén), which includes singing a special call-and-response hymn with candles.

If you haven't already noticed, some lyrics to the song are sprinkled throughout this post. I put a lot of gravitas into it for fun, as the last part of each line is drawn out. Just a tip for if you ever come across a situation where you have to sing it too.

Piñata for a different party, but look how pretty! (Photo credits
by PintsizedPioneer)

On the more secular side, piñatas are also typical at posadas along with uncomplicated food stuffs and drink. However, this posada we attended was piñata-less sadly. Balba's brother had two for his party later though. Lotería may also make an appearance: the quintessential Mexican cards of chance. Cover all and win a shot of tequila ... thank goodness I did not win ...

Los Peregrinos ...
Posada le pido,
amado casero,
pues madre va a ser,
la reina del cielo.

Rocks are not typical ... we just ran out of tiles. RIP.
(Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

The posada we went to was prepped and planned by my friend's mother and her longtime friends: the coffee crew. Located a bit out of town, it was a schlepp, but everyone and everything was welcoming and friendly!

I forgot it is custom say hello to everyone in the room, which for me, as the obvious gringo/chino, sometimes gets a bit awkward and longwinded that I am visiting, general backstory etc. However, it is always fun to surprise them with Spanish I guess.

TODOS ...
Dichosa la casa
Que abriga este día
A la virgen pura
La hermosa María
Entren Santos Peregrinos,
Reciban este rincón,
que aunque es pobre la morada,
os la doy de corazón.

There were a few other posadas/ other posada-esque gatherings afterwards for everyone in the family, which is also custom during this time. Multiple posadas, long nights.

Tomorrow is Nochebuena, so it is going to be a bit busy. I am going to church (?), which will be interesting. Thankfully, we are going to the earlier mass, so it will not be excessively long. The food will be exquisite though ... after helping the fam cook a bit late this evening, I cannot wait for the desserts to be served. More to come about Navidad, the rancho (which we will be going off to later), and hopefully the beach? Hm?

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