Las Posadas, or The Inns, is a religious tradition that originated in 1686. Las Posadas is celebrated between December 16 and December 24 and was originally designed to teach the Christmas story to those who can't read the Bible.
Many countries celebrate the religious festival Las Posadas, though the vast majority of the celebrations are in Latin America.
During Las Posadas, hitting and breaking open piñatas is customary to chase away evil spirits and turn away from the seven deadly sins. The pinata actually originated from the Aztecs that the Catholic missionaries were preaching to.
Hispanics in parts of the United Celebrate Las Posadas over nine days in December. The celebrations include parties at family and friends' homes, reading scriptures, and singing Christmas carols.
In Nicaragua, Las Posadas evolved into La Griteria and is celebrated on December 7. The date of La Criteria represents the eve of the day of Immaculate Conception.
During the reenactment, two people dress up as Mary and Joseph and act out their journey to find an Inn. The procession includes children dressed in silver and gold robes carrying candles and images of Mary and Joseph.
Catholics in the Philippines begin celebrating Las Posadas on December 15 with a Misa de Gallo. Singing traditional songs like Pidiendo Posada and knocking door to door asking for a place to stay is part of the religious festivities.
Guatemalans celebrate Las Posadas during the Christmas season. Over the nine days, people dress up as Mary, Joseph, and the Innkeepers and reenact the Christmas Story.
Honduras is another Latin American country where Catholics celebrate Las Posadas from December 17 to December 24; one of the religious traditions is to attend mass every day there is a procession. During the procession, children lead people from home to home, asking for shelter.