Understanding Las Posadas


¿Qué son las posadas? Son una representación de la experiencia que vivió José y María cuando viajaron desde Nazaret a Belén para inscribirse según el edicto del emperador. Estando ellos en Belén María le llegó el momento de dar a luz al niño Jesús, por lo que buscaron alojamiento (Posada) donde pasar la noche, pero no encontraron porque todos estaban llenos, y por eso el niño Jesús nació en un pesebre. Esto se encuentra escrito en San Lucas 2:1-7. Las Posadas Navideñas son una “Novena,” es decir que se hacen por nueve días, y son también una tradición que viene de México.

What are the Posadas (Inns)? They are a representation of the experience that Joseph and Mary lived out when they traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register themselves. Being in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to give birth to the baby Jesus, so they looked for lodging (Posada) to spend the night. But they did not find one because the inns were full, and for that reason the baby Jesus was born in a manger (Luke 2:1-7). The Christmas Posadas are a “Novena” that is to say that they are celebrated for nine days, and are also a Mexican tradition.


1. Las Posadas is typically celebrated between December 16 – 24th each year.

2.  Las Posadas also reflects upon important concepts such as humility, strength, detachment, charity, trust, justice, purity, joy, and generosity.

3.  This celebration has been a Mexican tradition for over 400 years, starting in 1586.

4. “The Novena” signifies the nine months Mary carried Jesus in her womb.

5. To stay warm, guests are served ponche, an aromatic fruit punch that includes piloncillo, water, cinnamon, and fruits such as guavas, tejocotes, and oranges.

Ponche Navideño Recipe

Traditional Mexican Fruit Punch – Ponche Navideño, is a traditional hot drink during the Christmas Holidays, it is made using water, fresh and dried fruits like tamarind, prunes, hibiscus, sugar cane, cinnamon, and sweetened with Piloncillo. You can serve it with or without alcohol. This recipe calls for some traditional ingredients, like cinnamon, tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), sugar cane sticks, and seasonal fruits. The seasonal fruits can include guavas, apples, pears, oranges, and dried fruits.

Additionally, this punch can also be found with different added fruits depending on the region in Mexico. For example, you can find Christmas Punch with acid fruits like oranges, Mexican sweet lime, or pineapple. As far as spices go, some cooks will also add anise star and chamomile, in addition to the cinnamon. This is the nice part about this drink, that you can add the fruits you have available and it will still come out fine!


4 quarts of water 1 gallon
1 large piloncillo cone (or 12 oz. of brown sugar)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 lb Tejocotes* SEE NOTES
1½ Lb. guavas about 12 guavas
¾ cup prunes chopped
1½ cup apples chopped
1 cup pear chopped
½ cup raisins
3 sugar cane sticks, about 5-in. long cut into four pieces each
1 cup of Tamarind pods peeled (or 1 cup of Hibiscus Flowers)***


  • Place water in a large stockpot.
  • Add the piloncillo (or brown sugar) and cinnamon to cook for about 15 minutes. If you are using fresh Tejocotes, add them with the piloncillo and cinnamon, since they take longer to soften. Ponche Navideno
  • Add the chopped guavas, apples, and prunes along with the rest of the ingredients like the sugar cane sticks, tamarind pods or hibiscus flowers. If you are using the canned version of the tejocotes, then add them in this step.
  • Simmer for about 1 hour. Serve hot in mugs, ladling in some of the fruit.