CHEROKEE COUNTY —
“What I remember the best are the piñatas (at the end of the evening) and the songs that we sang,” she recalled, adding how, after she graduated from high school, the tradition took on a new meaning among her university student friends who found comfort and familiarity in the posadas.
“You seek out things because you feel lonely and nostalgic for your culture – things that make you feel like you belong,” she said. “Being part of the pequeña comunidad (the Catholic student community on campus) meant getting together, and in my case we liked to sing, so when we had the posadas, we would make groups to sing.”
A couple portraying Mary and Joseph is accompanied by a group of peregrinos, going from site to site in search of shelter, singing out their requests, and being rejected through song, according to www.mexconnect.com
“In the name of heaven, I beg you for lodging, for she cannot walk, my beloved wife … don't be inhuman, have mercy on us,” the pilgrims sing at the door of each site they visit, only to be rejected time and again by unfeeling hosts.
“You can go on now and don't bother us, because if I become annoyed I'll give you a thrashing … let me sleep …” replies the group inside the shelter.
Finally, someone recognizes the Holy Couple.
“¿Eres tú, José? ¿Tu esposa es María?” (“Is that you, Joseph? And your wife is Mary?”) the host asks?
As the doors open at the final stop, according to the website, “the tune changes and the pilgrims enter and all begin singing:
Entren, Santos Peregrinos/reciban este rincon/que aunque es pobre la morada/os la doy de corazon … (Enter, holy pilgrims, receive this corner, for though this dwelling is poor, I offer it with all my heart).