'Las Posadas' Celebration Planned For Denison Campus, Community
Posted: November 28, 2000
The Office of Religious Life at Denison University cordially invites the community to celebrate the holiday season on campus. "Las Posadas," a traditional Mexican celebration, begins at 5:30 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 4) at Taylor House on the North Quad. Participants are welcome to join this symbolic search by Mary and Joseph for shelter, walking through the quad until someone welcomes the group. A party and the breaking of the "pinata" will follow. Families should dress for appropriately for the weather and children are welcome.
Las Posadas is full of symbolism and is celebrated in Mexico throughout eight days during the Christmas season. The celebration plays out Mary and Joseph's request for lodging before the birth of Jesus and the hospitality they eventually received from shepherds.
The celebration consists of the request for lodging, in which a group of people accompanies the pilgrims in their journey from house to house singing a series of verses in which they ask their neighbors for lodging. The neighbors respond with a series of verses denying lodging to Mary and Joseph. Finally they are welcomed into a house to stay. Mary and Joseph are often represented by costumed children or by hand-painted clay figures placed in a cart.
Once welcomed into a house, Mexican celebrants sing songs and eat "buneulos," accompanied by punch made from fruits of the season such as "tejocotes," oranges, prunes, guava, suger cane, cinnamon, and tamarind or rosehip flowers. Hot chocolate may also be served. The pinata is broken as part of the party. The pinata symbolizes the demon and evil, which is struck until it is broken, simulating the destruction of evil. The candy inside represents the gifts that can be obtained with the triumph of goodness.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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