A Latin American and Spanish Christmas

by Emily Edman
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The 7th grade Introduction to Spanish class journeyed from Mexico to the Caribbean to Spain as they learned about various Latin American Christmas traditions.

 Both 5th and 6th period classes participated in a centuries old tradition called Las Posadas or the lodging.  It is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging and is very much a part of a Mexican Christmas. Students visited several classrooms and were turned away.  Finally two gracious hosts, Mrs. Phillips and Sr. Moss, allowed our posada peregrinos in to jubilantly sing villancicos or Christmas carols.  Students warmed up by enjoying Mexican hot chocolate and savouring its rich cinnamon flavor.  Some students may even be eager to tell you about the legend of the poinsettia or La Flor de Nochebuena as told in a Mexican folktale.

From Spain and the rest of Latin America, the students received a special visit from the Tres Reyes Magos del Oriente or the Three Kings of the Orient.  Writing a letter in Spanish to the kings proved to be a challenge but the letters were received and answered.  The students delivered their letter by placing them in a shoe and in exchange some small gifts were placed in the shoe.

Some students claim they saw camels in our hallways!!  As a special treat, students were able to eat from a Rosca de Reyes or King’s bread and some fortunate students even found a toy baby within the bread to symbolize the baby Jesus.

No tree is complete without an ornament.  Spanish students headed off to Christmas Break with handmade piñata ornaments.  They are able to tell you that the origins of the piñata come from China and Italy and that piñatas have symbolism that dates back centuries.