Jesus Nañez, who co-owns Farmhouse Paint and Sip with his wife, Thaime, reflects on his personal connection with Las Posadas and why they are creating a community celebration this year.
The tradition of hosting a Posada or Las Posadas is a Christmas celebration that I first experienced in my hometown of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, when I was 7.
Las Posadas has always been a religious celebration in my home, although as a kid, I always saw it as the best party of the year. What I remember most is the joy and warmth of all of the neighbors singing and eating together. Of course, I also remember the piñata, “el ponche” (warm punch) and, most important, the “Nacimiento” (nativity scene).
Catholic missionaries brought the tradition of Las Posadas to Mexico from Spain in the 1500s. The tradition commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey in search of a room on the night Jesus was born. There was no room at any inn, so Mary and Joseph knocked on a number of doors before finding the manger where Jesus was born. “Posada” means “inn” or “dwelling” in Spanish, which is where Las Posadas gets its name.
Today, Las Posadas is a re-creation of the journey that Mary and Joseph took on the night Jesus was born. Participants go from door to door singing songs asking for lodging. Traditionally, the group asking for Posada will be denied a few times before they are accepted and the party begins. There are traditional songs and prayers that are sung by the whole group, and there is a piñata in the shape of the North Star.
As we started planning our holiday events at our venue, The Farmhouse Paint and Sip, I had the urge to explore what was missing here in Milwaukee. I realized how much we long to stay connected to our roots, to our traditions and to our religious beliefs. Las Posadas made Christmas a very special celebration for my family and me, in Mexico, so I thought our community would appreciate having it here in Milwaukee.
As an immigrant, I am proud to share this tradition with my friends and neighbors. I hope to provide a space where other people who miss their hometown celebrations can feel welcomed and at home. It is my hope to show this tradition to many who may not have experienced it and to keep this wonderful experience and tradition alive.
Our Las Posadas celebration is taking place on Friday, Dec. 20, beginning at 6 p.m. at The Farmhouse Paint and Sip, 4511 S. 6th St. If you would like to learn more, please see our Facebook event.
Many local churches also host amazing Posadas and I encourage you to check them out. We wanted to create a space where people that may not be affiliated with any church can still participate and connect with our roots.
Even if you have not been to event like this, you are welcome to come and enjoy with us. We will have live music, food, singing and dancing.