Mary Baldwin to Host Las Posadas: A Mexican Christmas Celebration

November 16, 2000

Mary Baldwin University will host Las Posadas, an age-old re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter and birthplace for the baby Jesus, November 29. The re-enactment begins at Mary Baldwin President Cynthia H. Tyson’s home, located at 240 Kable St., at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Themes for the stops will embrace Christmas in England, America, the Caribbean and Scandinavia, as well as the celebrations of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. The procession will wind its way through the residence halls with lead characters Mary and Joseph knocking on doors asking for a night’s lodging. The procession concludes at the Student Activities Center with a fiesta, including music, dancing, food, and games.

Las Posadas, Spanish for “the inn,” dates back to the 16th century. The traditional Mexican festival occurs each Christmas season with a processional carrying a doll representing the Christ Child and images of Mary and Joseph riding a burro as they walk through the community streets. The processional stops at previously selected homes and asks for a night’s lodging. The people are invited in to read scriptures and sing Christmas carols called alguinaldos. The doll is left at the chosen home and picked up on the next night when the processional begins again. This continues for eight nights in commemoration of the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

The Mary Baldwin event is sponsored by Latinas Unidas, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of African American Affairs and Multicultural Understanding, and the Black Student Alliance. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly and carry a flashlight.

For more information, please contact Andrea Cornett-Scott, Director of the Office of African American Affairs and Multicultural Understanding at (540) 887-7270.