NEW HAVEN – The New Haven Green will be the site of a popular Hispanic Christmas celebration on Tuesday, when hundreds of area residents are expected to take part in a Posada, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.
A Posada is a traditional, family-oriented Christmas celebration popular in Latin American culture. Combining Bible readings and dramatic reenactment, the Posada (Spanish term for "inn") recounts the story of the first Christmas. Participants will make their way in procession with the characters of Mary and Joseph as they travel – across the Green – on their journey to "Bethlehem." The procession will begin at 7 p.m. near Chapel Street and end at about 9 at the crèche near Elm Street.
The Posada custom was developed by Franciscan missionaries in Latin America centuries ago as a means of teaching and celebrating the Christian faith. It remains popular throughout Latin America and the southwestern United States.
In New Haven, as elsewhere, participants join in singing Christmas songs as they walk with characters depicting Mary and Joseph, making stops along the way to recall the events of the biblical story of Jesus’ birth 2,000 years ago. At the conclusion of the procession, there will be a celebration with song, children’s activities and food. The event is free and open to the public. The Knights are encouraging families to attend together.
"The beautiful tradition of the Posada helps us to remember that first Christmas in a way that united people of faith from throughout our hemisphere," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "This celebration of God’s gift to us of his son will also serve as a wonderful reminder to all who attend of the beautiful reason that we celebrate Christmas each year. As Pope Benedict XVI recently pointed out, at Christmas, we celebrate the fact that God exists and is with us. The Posada provides an opportunity for us to celebrate that fact with joy, together with our neighbors who share that joy with us."
The Knights of Columbus was founded as fraternal benefit society at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven in 1882, where its headquarters remain today. The organization counts more than 1.8 million members worldwide, and last year, Knights donated nearly $55 million and 70 million hours to charitable causes.