“Posadas” are a Christmas tradition in Mexico, and San Miguel de Allende is not the exemption.
The posadas are representative gatherings that are celebrated 9 days before Christmas. They start on the 16th and the big closing of these events is on December 24th.
In Mexico, when we talk about posadas we refer to hot punch, candy baskets, lights and “piñatas”, but if we investigate we will discover that they have a religious origin.
History tells us that the posadas arrived with the Spanish conquest, thus changing the tradition of the Aztecs, who celebrated during the month of Panquetzaliztli (December) the arrival of their God Huitzilopochtli. This celebration began on December 6th with a duration of 20 days and consisted of placing flags on the fruit trees and banners in the main temple.
But with the arrival of the Spaniards, the festivities called “Christmas bonuses” were established, held from December 16th to the 24th. These masses were held in the open air, where passages were read and representations allusive to Christmas were performed, what we now know as “Pastorelas”. In addition, small gifts were given to the attendees known as “aguinaldos.”
After the independence of Mexico, this custom of going to the celebrations of the “aguinaldo (Christmas bonus) masses” almost totally disappeared. It was the faithful followers who rescued it and carried it out in their own homes, thus giving rise to the tradition of the “Posadas”.
The way of celebrating the posadas has changed over time and elements of each region have been added. But they have always been characterized by color, songs and traditional food. Children, youth and adults come together to “ask for a posada” and celebrate that someone opened the doors and provided them with accommodation.
Snacks, fritters, punch, candles, “aguinaldos” (Christmas gifts) such as as sweets or fruits, and breaking “piñatas” are some of the most representative elements of the posadas. But the most important thing is to celebrate the union of families and friends.

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