The Secret Art of Asking Posada

Dare to learn some truly delicious Spanish words

Save the dates! From December 16th to December 24th is when the night party begins and if you have a yearning to learn more then you’ve come to the right place!

Night celebrations of this type are in recent years gaining popularity in some US cities, but Posada, which means lodging, is a tradition carried out for centuries by Catholics living in Mexico, Guatemala, and Spain. Have you ever attended a Posada?

The way the evening goes is quite simple. The guests are divided into two groups. One group represents the Pilgrims and the other the Innkeepers. Then the Pilgrims are asked to leave the house and they start to chant, asking for Lodging (posada in deed). They lit some candles and fireworks. So the Pilgrims start the chanting:

En el nombre del cielo
os pido posada,
pues no puede andar
mi esposa amada.

In the name of heaven
I ask you lodging,
because she can’t walk
my beloved wife.

According to tradition it is the very same Joseph, the husband of Mary the Virgin that is asking for accommodation. Mary is about to give birth to baby Jesus and they’re tired and weary from a long journey and both need to rest… somewhere ASAP!

Innkeepers reply:

Aquí no es mesón,
sigan adelante.
No puedo abrir
no sea algún tunante.

This is not an inn,
continue on.
I can’t open the gates
don’t be some rogue.

And so Mary and Joseph keep on looking for, almost, any suitable place to rest. The chant goes on and on until the Innkeepers finally say:

Do enter holy pilgrims,
Please accept this humble abode,
although the house is poor,
I give it to you from the bottom of my heart!
Let’s sing with joy
everyone is considering
that Jesus, Joseph and Mary
come visit us!

Cover of traditional Posada chanting handbook shows Mary and Joseph in front of an inn. The door to the inn remains closed and  unfriendly faces peer out of the windows at them.

One can clearly see in this image from a traditional Posada Chanting handbook that the innkeepers’ expressions are not inviting, so it’s better to keep on looking for lodging elsewhere!

And then the feast begins. Many traditional snacks and beverages are served. Can you picture yourself at a party where only if you dare to sing you’ll be offered something for dinner? In Mexico, the main dishes are: tamales (green ones with pork in green sauce), pambazos (like a big hamburger but stuffed with beef stew meat), tlacoyos (a piece of blue corn dough oval-shaped that is stuffed with requesón which is a soft-cheese that seems like sour cream). The beverages are: atole (a corn based hot beverage of different flavors according to the location, can be guava, tamarind, orange, strawberry, lime, pecan nut), champurrado (like an atole but this is made of cocoa and the corn is grinded coarsely) and ponche (fruit punch but served hot with a variety of flavors: hibiscus, orange, and cinnamon).

Click to watch a video about The #Secret #Art for Asking #Posada

Have you ever tasted a Tlacoyo? What is your favorite flavor of Atole? Mexican cuisine has a well-earned reputation. Why? Because it is delicious and very easy to prepare and everybody loves it! Much of the seasonings of Mexican cuisine has terms in Spanish that are almost impossible to translate! Do you want to be immersed in Mexican cuisine like a pro? Then you’ll want to start to learn the name of the dishes and their ingredients like a real chef!

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