Las Posadas (Spanish for “the Inns”) is a traditional Spanish festival, which lasts for nine days from 16th to 24th December.
It is based on the text from chapter 2 of Luke’s Gospel: “She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”.
It symbolises the hardship of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their difficulty in finding a place to stay where Mary could have her baby.
This tradition has been adopted across the world and transformed to suit local contexts. One of the ways that it has been used in Scotland is to mark the days of Advent. It ensures that we are prayerfully preparing during the Advent period. The idea is to focus on Mary and Joseph’s journey and create a parish or school pilgrimage, using the figures from the Nativity scene.
Families or schools take the figures of Mary and Joseph and visit other homes or classrooms. After a short liturgy the people who have brought the figures leave them to ‘stay for the night’ with the new family/class. The next day Mary and Joseph are taken to a new home for the night.
The attached documents give an overview of how this might work in a school or parish community and a short liturgy that you could use or adapt for your own.
If you use these resources to celebrate ‘Las Posadas’ with your children, either in the school or the parish, we would love to have some pictures to share on our website!