When we talk about winter holiday celebrations we usually think about Christmas and Hanukkah and maybe Kwanzaa. Often library programs and storytimes center on one or more of these festivities. Libraries that support El día de los niños/El día de los libros might want to add another celebration that is becoming popular in school and public libraries.
Las Posadas (December 16-24), celebrated throughout Latin America and in the Phillipines, re-enacts Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. Both a religious and a cultural event, community celebrations usually include a procession, followed by music and food.
In the library, share books like The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie DePaola, Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada! by Virginia Kroll, or The Gift of the Poinsettia: El regalo de la flor de nochebuena by Pat Mora. Serve Mexican pastries and hot chocolate and provide materials for a simple craft, such as making mock luminaries (also called farolitos) with paper bags and inexpensive mock tea lights. Sometimes a piñata will be available; a star shaped piñata is appropriate and generally easy to find. Instead of having children hit the piñata with a stick, use a pull-string piñata or, alternatively, keep the piñata for decoration only and provide a small zip-lock bag of treats for each child. Fill the bags with stickers, wrapped candies, and small toys.
Las Posadas is a great way to expand holiday programming and invite families to find their way to the library.