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A Latin American holiday tradition is coming to Price Hill this weekend and you're invited

Nativity scene decorated for the Christmas holiday
Wikimedia Commons

The Latin American holiday tradition "Las Posadas" is celebrated in many Spanish speaking countries. It's almost like caroling, with neighbors going door-to-door singing. But the tradition also involves briefly reenacting the Christian telling of Mary and Joseph seeking refuge before the birth of Jesus Christ. Transformations CDC provides resources to immigrants throughout the year, and is bringing the tradition to the Westmont neighborhood of Price Hill Saturday.

Director Nancy Sullivan said the tradition is an especially meaningful one during the holidays, especially because many in the neighborhood see themselves reflected in the story of Mary and Joseph: people seeking a better life and opportunity in a foreign place.

"They're people who have had to flee their homes, but this is something that they know that their families back in Honduras or Guatemala or Mexico are doing," she said. "I mean, I've seen people get really tearful over realizing, 'Oh, you know, my elderly mother is doing this right now (back home)."

Las Posadas is a reference to old fashioned inns in Latin America. During the celebration, which happens every night in the week leading up to Christmas, neighbors reenact Mary and Joseph being denied shelter by a homeowner, who act out the role of innkeepers. Then the homeowners invite people inside for holiday treats.

Transformations CDC is hosting its own version of the celebration Saturday. It begins at 6 p.m. at the park in Price Hill between 1915 and 1917 Westmont Lane.

Participants won't go into homes, but will circle the block holding candles and doing some singing. Afterwards, there will be chuchitos, small tamales, and atole, a hot rice milk drink, fireside at the park.

"It's just one of the things that really marks the year for them, " Sullivan said. "And when I say 'Las Posadas' to people, their eyes light up."