The word posada means inn or lodging, and traditionally posadas are a celebration of the Christmas story. They take place on nine nights from December 16 to 24 and commemorate the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph’s search for a place to stay where Jesus could be born. Posadas in Mexico feature hot food and drinks, sweets, music, and piñatas.
Throughout Mexico, churches and communities still celebrate these festivities with their traditional, religious elements. Today almost any party held around Christmas is called a posada. Schools often host posadas as end-of-the-year parties for students and teachers.