December 6, 2016 > Las Posadas 2016
Las Posadas 2016
Submitted By Arathi Satish
Las Posadas, a ceremonial celebration of Mary and JosephÕs difficult nine day journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge, has been co-sponsored by the Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) and the Old Mission San Jose annually since 1982. As FCAC Vice President Connie Chew, who has been organizing the event the last few years, pointed out, ÒLas Posadas brings together people of different religions and cultures, and promotes happiness and hope.Ó
Catholic missionaries brought the ceremonial tradition of Posadas from Spain to Mexico in the 1500s; Posada means ÒinnÓ or ÒshelterÓ in Spanish. Nine nights of religious observation represent the nine months of MaryÕs pregnancy. During this time, the community participates in nightly Christmas processions recreating the Holy Pilgrimage. People meet at specified time, recite the Holy Rosary and then proceed to neighborhood locations. This procession will be led by a group carrying a manger scene. Two people may dress up as Mary and Joseph, others as shepherds and angels; a real donkey will sometimes be included. If not, people carry images of holy personages.
Participants hold a candle and visit three different places, singing a posada song. There are two parts to the posada song. Those in the procession sing the part of Joseph, asking for shelter; people inside the buildings respond by singing the part of the innkeeper refusing entry. Finally, the procession reaches a destination where they are allowed entry. They kneel in front of the nativity scene to pray, and the hosts give guests traditional food to eat.
Las Posadas culminates with the breaking of a pi–ata. Traditional celebrations use a pi–ata shaped like a star with seven corners to represent the seven deadly sins. Beating and breaking the pi–ata symbolizes evil being crushed and starting anew with the birth of the Christ child. Candies, fruits, and nuts inside the pi–ata are symbolic of gifts from heaven.
In Fremont, Las Posadas takes place from Thursday, December 15 through Friday, December 23. FCAC President Margaret Thornberry says, ÒWe practice the tradition here in honor of the Spanish and Mexican heritage of Fremont. ItÕs a lovely way to join with neighbors and friends to start the Christmas season.Ó
There will be a procession each night from the front porch of the Old Mission San Jose Museum building. An image of Mary and Joseph will be carried in the procession. It is a free event open to public. The procession will assemble by 6 p.m. and walk to a local business or site within two blocks of the Mission by 6:15 p.m. People are encouraged to dress warmly and carry a flashlight to read song sheets. Once inside the host business or site, an entertainment program organized by FCAC will take place. Light refreshments will be provided by the host.
Thursday, Dec 15 Ð Friday, Dec 23
Gathering Time: 6 p.m.
Old Mission Museum
43300 Mission Blvd, Fremont
(Programs are subject to change. Visit www.fremontculturalartscouncil.org or www.missionsanjose.org for the latest updates)
Thursday, Dec 15 Ð Shinebrite Cleaning Service (formerly Cheese Taster), 43367 Mission Blvd. Ð Connie Chew/Holiday and Hope
Friday, Dec 16 Ð Sisters of the Holy Family, 159 Washington Blvd. in the Large Dining Room Ð First United Methodist Church Bells Choir/Traditional Christmas Carols
Saturday, Dec17 Ð Dutra Enterprises & Better Homes & Garden Realty, 43430 Mission Blvd. Ð SantaÕs Tallest Elves/Õ50s Through Ô70s Pop Christmas
Sunday, Dec 18 Ð Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, 43326 Mission Blvd. Ð AAAAHZ/Traditional Christmas
Monday, Dec 19 Ð Mission Coffee & More, 151 Washington Blvd. Ð Kristen Del Rio Soprano/Christmas in New York
Tuesday, Dec 20 Ð TBA
Wednesday, Dec 21 Ð Museum of Local History, 190 Anza St. Ð Sharon Xavier de Souza Ð Christmas Past, Present and Future!
Thursday, Dec 22 Ð TBA Ð Center Stage Singers/Traditional Pop
Friday, Dec 23 Ð Old Mission San Jose, 43300 Mission Blvd. Ð entertainment & pi–ata for the children