La Posada: FET Fiesta


Grace Schwab

The extravagant, lustrous pinata from the FET Fiesta. Photo by Grace Schwab.

Grace Schwab and Miller Dunbar

On Dec. 13, Boulder High’s Latino families collaborated with FET (Families and Educators Together) to put on the very first BHS Posada celebration. A Posada is a traditional Mexican Christmas celebration. The Posada has its beginnings in the Spanish colonization of Mexico, where Catholicism was introduced and blended with indigenous customs. The parties last for nine days in December and are focused on gathering the community through food. Traditional foods include homemade tamales, gelatins, and seasonal drinks. 

La Posada celebrates the Biblical story of Joseph and Mary struggling to find a place to stay the night that Mary gives birth to Jesus. Friends and family gather, knocking on the doors of their neighbors only to be turned away in the same way. Afterward, they all gather at a home to celebrate, finally welcomed.  

This year’s Posada is special because it is the first of its kind hosted at Boulder High. Dozens of BHS students, faculty and family members joined the party, all coming together to enjoy meat tamales, vegetarian flautas de papa, gelatinas (jello), champurrado (chocolate beverage), ponche (fruit beverage) and a festive piñata. As is the tradition, the BHS piñata was shaped like a star. “La piñata de estrella” is an important part of La Posada not only for the fun tradition of beating it blindfolded together to get the candy inside, but because it symbolizes the star that marked Jesus’ place of birth. Participants all crowd around the piñata singing, “Dale, dale, dale, no pierdas el tino/Porque si lo pierdes, pierdes el camino,” which roughly translates to “Hit, hit, hit, Don’t lose your aim/Because if you lose it, you’ll lose the way.”

Students and families at the Posada. Photo by Grace Schwab.

BHS Spanish teacher Sra. Johnson was a crucial coordinator of the event, and she described her excitement. “This is the first Posada hosted here at Boulder High. We have such good representation of our Latino families here in Boulder, and there have been many efforts, like this year’s BHS Posada, to celebrate Latino customs with the Boulder and BHS community.” When speaking with BHS Latino students Paola, Perla and Jade at the party, they explained their annual traditions surrounding La Posada. All three go to Sacred Heart Church, which hosts a Posada. At Sacred Heart, there is a tradition called “el rosario” where members of the church sing around the whole block with candles. The idea is that they make a human rosary, saying prayers and celebrating the night together as a faith community. Paola shared that “For Posadas this time of year, there are the tendencies of bringing food and making people connect through food. There are usually ‘bolos,’ which are little bags or treats filled with candy. It’s about gathering with family, friends, and the whole community.”