Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas

Since everyone in the team is probably aware of the 12 Days of Christmas, which begin on December 25th and end on January 5th, I decided to dedicate the theme of my tag to the celebration of "Las Posadas."

"Las Posadas," Spanish for lodgings, are a series of 9 celebrations on the evenings of December 16th through the 24th, which originated in Spain, but are now primarily celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala and the Southwestern Region of the United States.  The celebrations are done in remembrance of the 9 months of Virgin Mary's pregnancy while carrying Jesus and her pilgrimage with Joseph to Bethlehem.  While the origins of this celebrations are in the Roman Catholic church, who used them as a means to educate the Natives Americans, " las Posadas" are now practiced by various denominations.

During the celebrations, a procession of people with the leaders carrying figurines of Mary, Joseph and an angel, go to predetermined homes asking for lodging.  The procession and the hosts chant a traditional song back and forth that re-enacts Joseph and Mary's dialogue with the innkeeper when they arrive in Bethlehem.  Once the "innkeeper," who's played by the host, allows them to enter the home, the procession prays around a Nativity scene which is lit by candle lights.  After prayer, the guests share a meal of "tamales," "buñuelos," hot chocolate, and other goodies.  In addition, there is always a star shaped "piñata" filled with treats for the children to break.  During the 9th "Posada," a figurine of baby Jesus is laid between the figures of Joseph and Mary in celebration of his birth.


For my tag design, I was inspired by the techniques of Tim Holtz in his 12 Tags of 2013 for the month of December, because it features a Poinsettia.  This glorious flower is indigenous to Mexico and Central America, where it is known as a "Noche Buena," which refers to Christmas Eve.  It is featured in many of the decorations used during "Posadas," because of a Mexican legend about a little poor Native girl who presents a bouquet of these flowers to Baby Jesus during a "Posada."  The flowers original name was Cuetlaxochitl, which is in Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztec Natives.  Poinsettias were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, and are now named after him in many countries.

I hope I didn't bore you with my short history lesson on "las Posadas."  Growing up in Mexico, these celebrations were an important part of my Christmas experience, so I wanted to share them with you.  Blessings!

16 comments:

  1. i am grateful for the history lesson! and your tag is luminous. perfectly evoking the spirit of las posadas! happy christmas! xo

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  2. Absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!!

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  3. What a lovely tag to commemorate such a lovely celebration! I live next to CA Lutheran University, and they have this celebration. You have encouraged me to go this year!

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  4. Beautiful tag, and thanks for the story! Valerie

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  5. A beautiful tag from you again Arnoldo! And so nice to get the origin is the poinsettia name....I used to have them growing in all their glory up the side of our drive when we lived in Libya back in the '60s :-)

    Sally

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  6. I loved your post with the background history of one of your celebrations.

    The tag is very beautiful

    Chrissie x

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  7. I love your poinsettia Arnoldo, a beautiful tag and thank you for the story, a very interesting history lesson! X

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  8. It is wonderful what we learn here in the pursuit of our art Arnoldo. Your tag is lovely and I remember quite a lot from my Christmas around the world performances which the children loved.Poinsettias grow magnificently here in our subtropical climate.
    Your tag is a wonderful and different take on the theme.

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  9. Not bored in the slightest! More like completely fascinated; so thank you for the history lesson. Your tag is beautiful Arnoldo. I especially like the subtle colours of your Cuetlaxochitl :o))

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  10. Very pretty! The spattered snow is a great effect!

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  11. I loved learning about the background of this tag, thank you for all the information. I never knew all that about the poinsettia either, how very interesting. I'll be buying mine this weekend to display throughout the house.
    The tag is lovely and sparkly and full of Christmas cheer, and I love the way you have photographed it.

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  12. You know how much I enjoy knowing the story behind the tag - thank you so much for the really interesting information and a stunning tag.

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  13. I was thrilled to see how beautifully you have interpreted Tim's December tag which I was admiring only a few days ago whilst surfing - I recognised it straight away!! Thank you too for the fascinating background. Carolyn xx

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  14. It was a wonderful history lesson and I did not know of the nine day celebration ( or about the poinsettia) The tag is just such a work of art, inspirational. Thank you for joining us today at Word Art Wednesday with your fabulous art.
    Advent Blessings of Hope and Peace,
    Carole Robb Bisson

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  15. A Beautiful tag and very interesting information, thank you.

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  16. Stunning tag, Arnoldo, you make Tim proud!

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