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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 12:21 pm | Fair 67º

 
 
 
 

Celebrate Tradition of Una Noche de Las Posadas at El Presidio

Una Noche de Las Posadas volunteers lead procession while portraying Mary, Joseph and an Angel, along with “Burrito,” a 46-year-old donkey.
Una Noche de Las Posadas volunteers lead procession while portraying Mary, Joseph and an Angel, along with “Burrito,” a 46-year-old donkey. (Dr. Paul Mori)

Community members can participate in one of Santa Barbara’s oldest Christmas traditions as the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) presents the 27th annual Una Noche de Las Posadas, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14.

The free, family friendly event begins at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park and concludes at Casa de la Guerra.

Participants in this cultural tradition can experience firsthand the way in which Santa Barbara’s earliest Spanish and Mexican residents gathered together and celebrated Christmas with music, food and merriment.

Las Posadas (The Inns) commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their nine-day search for shelter as it was once celebrated in early California.

Una Noche de Las Posadas, a one-night version of the celebration, begins with traditional Spanish holiday songs performed in the candlelit Presidio Chapel by El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Bárbara.

Guests are invited to join the choir in a procession led by children portraying an angel, Joseph and Mary, along with their small burro as they stroll and sing their way to State Street and into De la Guerra Plaza.

The procession ends at Casa de la Guerra as Joseph and Mary finally find shelter, and attendees enjoy more singing, traditional refreshments, and the breaking of a holiday piñata.

The holiday tradition was brought to Santa Barbara by its early Spanish and Mexican settlers and is still observed throughout many Latin American communities.

SBTHP thanks The Towbes Foundation and The Outhwaite Foundation for sponsoring the 2018 Una Noche de Las Posadas. It also thanks Los Agaves Restaurant for providing food for the event.

For more information, call 805-965-0093 or visit www.sbthp.org. Learn more about SBTHP at www.sbthp.org.

— Zach VanHarn for Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

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