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Christmas Traditions in Mexico

Feliz Navidad or Merry Christmas?: A Comparison of Christmas Traditions
Kristen Santos
3rd Block- Sp. I

Both the people of the United States and most of Mexico celebrate the holiday Christmas. Although this holiday is celebrated by both countries, each of their cultures have created their own traditions, making Christmas celebrations in the United States very different than Christmas celebrations in Mexico.

The United States, like Mexico, tends to grace their homes with Christmas spirited decor. While many in the U.S. like to show their spirit with a highly traditional Christmas pine tree, Mexicans tend to focus on the true meaning, adorning their dining rooms with nativity sets. They ussually set these up so they can take time to remember the reason in which christians celebrate the day.

In order to prepare for the day of symbolic commemoration of Christmas night, we have the Posadas. These celebrations are a Novena or nine days before the 24th which is the Noche Buena or Holy Night . (In America, they call this night, Christmas Eve.) The nine days, starting on the 16th represent Mary’s nine months of pregnancy with the baby Jesus.

The Posada begins with the procession of the pilgrims. At the beginning is Joseph holding Mary’s hand as she ride on the donkey.

Each family, in every neighborhood, will plan for a Posada to be held around the 16th. The Peregrinos, or neighborhood adults and children, will ask for lodging in three different houses but only the third one will allow them in. This represents the struggle Mary and Joseph went through to find an innkeeper on the birth of Jesus Christ. The third house will be the house that is supposed to have the Posada for that evening.
Once the innkeepers let them in, the group of guests comes into the home and they all kneel around the Nativity scene. They often say a prayer or count their blessings.
Th comedic versions of Posadas are called Pastorelas, which are set up like theatrical representations of the shepherds on their way to see baby Jesus. They must follow the star in the East to get there, but there will be many obstacles, set by the other actors beforehand, for them to overcome.

Many people enjoy taking part in the re-enactment of the birth of Christ, but for people...

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