EL PASO — Thousands of Catholics in our area start celebrating the birth of Christ before Christmas. They participate in Posadas, a nine-day celebration re-enacting the night of his birth.
It originated in Spain hundreds of years ago and is now celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the southwestern United States.
It’s a holiday pilgrimage asking for posada, or lodging for joseph and his expectant wife Mary.
"It's a nine-day novena remembering the nine months the blessed mother carried the Baby Jesus,” Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas said. ”There are pilgrims headed by Joseph and Mary, sometimes a donkey, and they go down the street praying the rosary, and they stop at homes, and they knock on the door, and there's a group inside saying, 'we don't want you, go away.' And they go to three homes, at the last home, then they're accepted and the music changes, its festive and there's usually tamales and buñuelos, very good food, nice drink."
It's a tradition of hospitality that originated in Mexico more than 4-hundred years ago and Monsignor Arturo Bañuelas says that is something especially dear here in the borderland.
"It's especially important for us on the border because we have a fence between Mexico and the United States, an ugly fence, that says you're not welcome if you're an immigrant, but the posada says in our lives, and in our hearts, you are welcome, you're our brother and our sister."
Posada is celebrated the nine days leading up to Christmas Eve and it's just one of the many holiday traditions treasured here in the borderland.