Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Posadas and Pinatas

December 16th sees the start of the annual posadas in Mexico, which are re-enactments of the journey to Bethlehem by Mary and Joseph, and the difficulties they experienced in finding lodgings. Mexico puts its own special twist on this event by ensuring that far from the traditional dry nativity representations, there is always a fun-filled fiesta at the end. A procession wends its way round the streets, continually being turned away from house after house, until of course it hits the designated party house (symbolically the stable) and then the real fun begins...........
Photo - Sanborns Restaurant - House of Tiles - Centro Historico - DF

Part of the fun is, of course, the traditional blindfolded bashing of the pinatas, with blow after blow raining down, until the pinata finally splits apart and gives up its goodies. Traditional pinatas are star-shaped with seven spikes - each spike representing one of the seven deadly sins. So the symbolism is that you are destroying the deadly sins in order to receive your reward. Most restaurants, shops, hotels, streets will also hang pinatas of gigantic proportions as festive decorations for this seasonal time of year. Pinatas can also be bought in every shape imaginable from superheroes to cartoon characters, from princesses to racing cars.......


Photo - Spiderman Superhero pinatas - Zacatecas - Mexico.


Two words of warning for pinata novices. One is a tale of a friend´s first Christmas in Mexico whereby an enthusiastic, blindfolded sister-in-law took a mighty swing, baseball bat style, connecting with the back of her head instead of the pinata, and landing her in Casualty with severe concussion. Two concerns an enthusiastic group of Brits who organised a rather cute looking Winnie-the-Pooh pinata for a little English girl´s first birthday party. All was going fine until a couple of rather spot-on shots left Pooh a double amputee and then quadraplegic all in very quick succession. As the four limbs sailed off merrily to the four winds and the four compass points across the roofs of Mexico City, the accompanying wailing and screeching could also be heard far and wide. In fact the kid remained inconsolable for the rest of the party, and the adults had to compensate with copious amounts of alcohol to blot out the bawling. Are Mexican kids simply bred tougher??

8 comments:

Fly Girl said...

That's hilarious! I just think it's all about what children are exposed to culturally. The poor child was probably devastated that poor Pooh was injured! My sister -in-law is Mexican and although her children were born here, they always have pinatas, which the children are all experts at breaking decorously. I wouldn't mind being at a Posada though, fun is fun, no matter the culture.

kristine said...

haha!
The parents had to compensate with copious amounts of alcohol? For themselves, I hope :)

That big star pinata isbeautiful. The spidermen are less my cup of ea, but they are pretty clever nonetheless!

Cecile/DreamCreateRepeat said...

There is definitely something to be said for Hispanic culture! Color and fun seem to abound!!

jess gonacha said...

oh wow! your blog leaves me amazed every time i see it how different mexico is-- what a unique country!

A Cuban In London said...

Lovely pictures. I adore pin-atas (I can't do the 'n-' on this keyboard).

Just a quick linguistic note. In Cuba 'posadas' have lost their original meaning of temporary lodgings and acquired one instead where sexual content is more often inferred. Why? Because 'posadas' were (and probably still are) very popular in the 70s, 80s and 90s as places where couples used to go in order to have sexual intercourse due to the housing problems we have had over the years. It goes to show, doesn't it? From Mexico to Havana... :-)

Greetings from London.

Rhi said...

Haha that's really funny. I'm glad I found your blog... stumbled on it from Koala. Will become a follower. Thanks for sharing. =)

Catherine said...

Jess... when are you going to get yourself down here to Mexico to check it all out for yourself??
Rhi - thanks for the vote of confidence..
Cuban in london... I have lived in and visited a number of different spanish speaking countries and it is hard to remember what you can saty in one country but not another...coger, concha etcetc... in Mexico for sex by the hour we have the delightful garage hotels!!

Wendy said...

I hope that after the alcohol was consumed none of the children were mistaken as pinatas.