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December 12, 2017 > Las Posadas celebrates the true spirit of Christmas

Las Posadas celebrates the true spirit of Christmas

Submitted By Arathi Satish

For many people the month of December is busy with shopping, planning vacations, and organizing Christmas get-togethers. Amidst all this frenzy, one of the most traditional ways to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas is being a part of Las Posadas festivities in Fremont. This ceremonial nine-day celebration has been co-sponsored by the Fremont Cultural Arts Council (FCAC) and the Old Mission San Jose annually since 1982.

It is a great way for the community to come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Joseph and Mary, nine months pregnant, travelled for nine days from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The couple sought shelter, or posada, in order to rest and for Mary to give birth. They were continuously rejected, and the divine child was finally born in a stable manger.

Las Posadas originated in Mexico in the 16th century when the catholic Christmas was observed by Spanish Augustinian friars. Now, it is celebrated in many parts of the world during the nine days leading up to Christmas Day. Adults and children dress up in biblical attire and are led by a couple dressed as Joseph and Mary carrying a baby. The procession includes musicians and, sometimes, even a live donkey. Singing songs and holding candles, the procession stops at pre-selected locations where the participants ask for lodging and are refused admittance, just as Mary and Joseph were. Finally, they are provided shelter and refreshments at a pre-determine venue. Songs are sung and scriptures read. Children break a star-shaped pi–ata filled with candies, small toys, and money. The star is a symbol of the biblical star that led three wise men to the Christ child, while the candies represent a heavenly reward.

This great tradition has been celebrated locally in honor of the Spanish and Mexican heritage of Fremont. FCAC Vice President Connie Chew, who has been organizing this event for the last few years says, As usual, the procession will start each night at the front porch of the Old Mission San Jose Museum building. 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, an entertainment program organized by FCAC will take place and light refreshments will be provided by the host.

FCAC President Margaret Thornberry pointed out, Las Posadas will be even brighter and more festive this year, thanks to Tri-City Voice, that has generously provided light sticks to be carried during the nightly processions from the Old Mission San Jose to evening entertainments.

Las Posadas
Friday, Dec 15 Ð Saturday, Dec 23
Gathering Time: 6 p.m.
Old Mission Museum
43300 Mission Blvd, Fremont
(510) 794-7166
(510) 657-1797 x 106

Friday, Dec 15
The Old Rectory Ð Von Till & Associates
152 Anza Street
Anza Street Troubadours (Traditional Christmas)

Saturday, Dec 16
Sisters of the Holy Family
159 Washington Blvd
Connie and Friends (Holiday and Hope)

Sunday, Dec 17
Dominican Sisters Motherhouse
43326 Mission Blvd
AAAAHZ (Traditional Christmas)

Monday, Dec 18
Mission Coffee Roasting Co.
151 Washington Blvd
Kristen Del Rio (Christmas Variety and More)

Tuesday, Dec 19
Better Homes & Garden Realty-Reliance Partner
43430 Mission Blvd, Suite 100
Sharon Xavier de Souza (Christmas Past, Present and Future!)

Wednesday, Dec 20
Washington Township Museum of Local History
190 Anza Street
Either Centerstage or Santa's Tallest Elves (Pop Christmas)

Thursday, Dec 21
Shinebright Cleaning Services
43367 Mission Blvd
Centerstage Singers

Friday, Dec 22
Tavares Realty
270 Washington Blvd
Knuti Van Hoven (Pop Christmas)

Saturday, Dec 23
Old Mission San Jose Church
43300 Mission Blvd
Carols followed by a pi–ata for children

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