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Photo by Wicked Local Staff Brett Crawford

An Interview with Posada organizer and Rozzie Resident Lucy Galvan by RVMS Marketing Committee Member Hilary Sullivan

What is the history of the Posada?

The Posada Navideña is a nine-day traditional celebration that occurs in Mexico, Central America, and parts of southwest USA. Typically, the neighborhood event occurs from December 16th to the 24th, and it’s a Nativity re-enactment of Joseph and Mary seeking lodging. As the story goes so does the Posada -- Joseph and Mary ask for lodging multiple times and are turned away until a good Samaritan opened up their inn for them, and that is where they had baby Jesus. In Mexico, people carol around neighborhoods and are turned away until they find that one home that opens up the door and welcomes them with traditional Mexican food, bolos (goodie bags) for the kids, piñatas, music and community fun.

What is the history here in Roslindale?

In Roslindale, Alejandro (my husband) and I started hosting the Posada at our home with family and friends when we first moved to Roslindale in 2006 in an effort to keep our heritage alive.

A few years later, we opened El Chavo Mexican Products and began hosting the Posada at our store as a way to bring our customers, neighborhood friends, and community together. The first Posada at El Chavo was in December of 2009 when we first opened. Since then, it’s become bigger every year. The second year, Romano’s Taqueria & Pizzeria joined our efforts, and ever since, more and more businesses have joined each year.

Last year, we made the hard decision to sell El Chavo to focus on our young family, but ironically we had the best turnout ever. We had over 100 kids carol around the Village, and all of the participating businesses greeted the kids with little surprises, including the library, which gave them free books.

Our intention was always to create community and keep our Mexican heritage alive. We used to joke that it was for our future children at the time. Now, with a four and two year old -- what the Posada in Roslindale has become for our community is overwhelmingly special, as our children and their neighborhood friends get to experience a true Mexican holiday celebration right here in Roslindale Square.  

What can folks expect on Thursday, December 17th?

This year will be no different from last. We will begin by gathering at Romano’s Taqueria & Pizzeria located at 4249 Washington Street, and start our evening of caroling or asking for “posada” (shelter) with a warm drink. We will then head over to Tony’s Market to sing some more accompanied by Mariachi Estrella de Boston, and then head across the Village to Centre Cuts Salon & Spa, Boston Cheese Cellar, Joanne Rossman: Purveyor of the Unnecessary & and the Irresistible, and Birch St. House & Garden to continue our caroling. We will then make our way through Adams Park and into the Library where there will be book giveaways for kids, courtesy of the Friends of the Library, and traditional Mexican food such as tamales and champurrado (hot chocolate) prepared by my husband and myself. There will also be piñatas and pizza for the kids to enjoy donated by local business My Piñata Boston and Romano’s Taqueria & Pizzeria.

The procession will be led by Joseph and Mary and a couple of angels, usually a Roslindale family and the Boston Police Department, who will be watching over the procession to ensure safety. Additionally, I should note that all the businesses and community partners will be greeting our young carolers with special holiday goodies.

Why should they join in?

The Posada has truly become a Roslindale tradition over the last five years, and we look forward to continuing to share our heritage with our amazing community. The business community has been so generous that we ask that you give back by shopping in their stores during this holiday season!  

Here is a nice write up from the Boston Globe from a few years ago:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/roslindale/2010/12/if_you_happen_to_walk.html