Posada Nights in Antigua Guatemala

Doña Tere's Posada

Since the night of December 15, there have been sightings of Joseph and Mary’s quest for shelter around the streets of La Antigua Guatemala. María and José are walking around Antigua Guatemala, knocking on people’s doors to ask for posada. Our eye witness reporter has been able to gather the following information regarding the quest for lodging:

Every home has a nativity scene and the hosts of the Posada act as the innkeepers. The neighborhood children and adults are the pilgrims (peregrinos), who have to request lodging by going house to house singing a traditional song about the pilgrims. All the pilgrims carry small lit candles in their hands, and four people carry small statues of Joseph leading a donkey, on which Mary is riding. The head of the procession will have a candle inside a paper lamp shade. At each house, the resident responds by refusing lodging (also in song), until the weary travelers reach the designated site for the party, where Mary and Joseph are finally recognized and allowed to enter. Once the “innkeepers” let them in, the group of guests come into the home and kneel around the Nativity scene to pray (typically, the Rosary)… This according to Mrs. Wikipedia Enciclopedia de Quiensabe.

We will update you with new information as soon as our on-site reporters finish their ponche and tamales…

photos and video by Guy Howard

Doña Tere's Posada

Doña Tere's Posada

© 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • NYChapin

    The posadas were always a perfect opportunity for my brother and I to practice the art of being “colados” or if you will “posada crashers”. Basically professionals at sneaking into all sorts of private events that would guarantee us a tamale and a cup of hot ponche. Similar to the characters in the short story “Casa Tomada” by Cortazar, we would identify the persons in charge of the evening events, as well as the homeowners, and made sure that they notice our passionate singing and fervor. We would rush the door and then grab a seat near the kitchen, to make sure we would be serve first. Followed by small chit chat with other adults “que rico esta el ponche” and the occasional flirting with a canchita ” seño la invito a la posada de mi cuadra.” Watch the video again and see if you can spot the crashers ! je je

    • I imagine that by being Niño Dios it was easier to sneaked in to go for the food and booze, right?

  • Begonia

    This is a actually a really beautiful, warm composition about a wonderful Guatemalan tradition. I was surprised to see that Rudy didn’t take it! Recently I was talking to a Mexican man about ponche and he laughingly mentioned that his ponche is usually spiked with booze. I was surprised to hear that because in Guatemala I’ve never had a ponche with alcohol in it–is that something that is done?

    • Yes Begonia, it is common practice to spike the fruit punch with rum, tequila or aguardiente [moon shine] or any kind of liquor.