Las Posadas Navideñas

Las posadas navideñas are the nine days of annual Christmas celebrations that culminate with a big celebration on Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, in Mexico. The nine days symbolize each of the months that Mary was pregnant, and that’s also why Christmas Eve is more celebrated in Mexico than Christmas Day like in many other countries.

The posadas often include traditional foods and drinks, especially things like tamales and ponche navideño. There are many different ways to make ponche, and each family does something different. Another holiday favorite of mine is rompope, an eggnog-like drink that comes from the famous nuns of Puebla,  located about two hours outside of Mexico City.

RELATED RECIPE: How to make ponche navideño

Watch this video to learn more about las posadas and how our family celebrates.

The piñata is also a staple of posadas, and everyone from the youngest to the oldest gets a turn to try to break it. Piñatas are traditionally shaped like a star with seven cones, and the cones represent the seven deadly sins. The custom of being blindfolded while hitting the piñata is supposed to symbolize one’s faith, and the stick used to hit the piñata is supposed to symbolize virtue. And traditionally, the piñata is made of an olla de barro, or clay pot, covered in paper maché and decorated with colorful tissue paper and streamers.

Many people still fill their piñata with fruit such as tejocotes, oranges, and guavas, or cane sugar sticks and nuts but it is also common to fill it with candies such as tamarindo or even modern candies like one of my favorites, a strawberry jelly and marshmallow candy bar covered in chocolate called Bubu Lubu.

Below are the lyrics to the piñata song, “Dale, dale dale” as well as the traditional song you can hear in the video when the “peregrinos” are singing.


“Dale, dale dale”


Dale, dale, dale , no pierdas el tino
porque si lo pierdes, pierdes el camino.
Ya le diste una, ya le diste dos, ya le diste tres, ¡y tu tiempo se acabo!


Canción para pedir posada

The “peregrinos” sing verse A and the “innkeepers” sing verse B.

1a. En el nombre del cielo os pido posada, pues no puede andar mi esposa amada.
1b. Aqui no es mesón, sigan adelante. Yo no debo abrir, no sea algún tunante.

1a. No seas inhumano, tennos caridad, que el Dios de los cielos te lo premiará.
1b. Ya se pueden ir y no molestar, porque si me enfado os voy a apalear.

2a. Venimos rendidos desde Nazarét, yo soy carpintero de nombre José.
2b. No me importa el nombre, déjenme dormir, pues que yo les digo que no hemos de abrir.

2a. Posada te pido, amado casero, por sólo una noche la Reina del Cielo.
2b. Pues si es una reina quien lo solicita, ¿Cómo es que de noche anda tan solita?

3a. Mi esposa es María, es Reina del Cielo y madre va a ser del Divino Verbo.
3b. ¿Eres tú José? ¿Tú esposa es María? Entren, peregrinos, no los conocía.

3a. Dios pague, señores, nuestra caridad, y que os colme el cielo de felicidad.
3b. ¡Dichosa la casa la casa que alberga este día a la Virgen pura! ¡La hermosa María!

Then the peregrinos enter and the tune changes while all sing.

Entren, Santos Peregrinos, reciban este rincón, que aunque es pobre la morada, os la doy de corazón.

Cantemos con alegría, alegría, todos al considerar
Que Jesús, José y María, y María, nos vinieron hoy a honerar.


  • How does your family celebrate Las Posadas, Nochebuena y La Navidad?


    • says

      Feliz Navidad Kathleen! Today I was standing out on the terrace and heard some children singing “dale, dale, dale, no pierdas el tino…” and it really made me smile to hear them! I hope you’re enjoying the holidays.

  1. Nelda Rojas says

    I know a diferent version of the song: Dale dale dale, no pierdas el tino, porque si lo pierdes, pierdes el camino, ahora si le das, ahora no le das, porque tienes cara de conejo blas, blas blas! I guess it depends on the region you live.

    • says

      Nelda, there are various versions as well as multiple verses and I think it depends not only on the region where you live but also your family because each family does it differently :) Your version is cute, I’ve never heard it before!


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