The halls of Texas A&M International University will resonate to the tunes of regional holiday songs Tuesday, Dec. 3 as the 6th Annual Las Posadas celebration takes center stage at 7 p.m. in the Kinesiology/Convocation Building.
The event, free and open to the public, will mark the beginning of the Christmas season featuring the University's Ballet Folklórico, which will interpret colorful dances from various states of Mexico.
Organized by the Ballet Folklórico and the Student Government Association, the Las Posadas Celebration is the largest of its kind in the city and presents a re-creation of a Mexican posada, complete with traditional dance, music and food of Mexico. This year's special guests include the University's award-winning Mariachi Internacional and the TAMIU Ballet Folklórico Juvenil.
"Las Posadas is a tradition in Mexico that occurs during the nine nights before Christmas," explained Gabriela Mendoza-García, associate director of Student Development and Ballet Folklórico director, "According to tradition, a group of families gather at a home and re-enact Mary and Joseph's search for lodging in Bethlehem."
During the re-enactment, a procession is usually in formed in which the families have prepared El Misterio, a small platform on which the figures of the pilgrims are placed, she explained.
"The families proceed through the streets with lighted candles singing the litany until they reach the house of the 'host' family of that evening. One verse of the posada is sung outside, at which time the people request a place to rest," Mendoza-García said, "Then, the people inside the house sing a verse in response, saying that the strangers should go away. The groups continue singing the songs alternatively until the 'host' group recognizes the pilgrims, opens the door, and invites them into the house."
Mendoza-García said that Las Posadas offers a perfect opportunity for adults and children alike to observe a long-cherished holiday celebration.
"For this year's event, our Ballet Folklórico has prepared beautiful dances representing the states of Nuevo León, Veracruz, Nayarit, Michoacan, Chiapas and Guadalajara. We will showcase the talent that has been growing exponentially during the past few years on our campus and everyone is invited to join us to celebrate this joyous moment with music, food and candlelight," Mendoza-García said.
For further information on Las Posadas at TAMIU Tuesday, Dec. 3, please contact Mendoza-García at 326-2280 or the Student Government Association office at 326-2265. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.