Multicultural Christmas observed at Lewes Public Library
A special bilingual story time was held at Lewes Public Library Dec. 20. Steve Marz, director of the Delaware Public Archives, and Charito Calvachi-Mateyko read from her book "Navidad Latino Americana/Latin American Christmas."
They read stories and discussed holiday traditions of different Latin American countries during this special time of year. Local students dressed in traditional costumes and reenacted “Las Posadas.” Posada means lodging in Spanish. Celebrated each evening from December 16-24, they are, in fact, a novenario - nine days of religious observance based on the nine months that Maria carried Jesus in her womb. The posadas re-enacts Mary and Joseph's cold and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter.
Traditionally, a party is held each night in a neighborhood home. At dusk, guests gather outside the house with children dressed as shepherds, angels and sometimes, Mary and Joseph. An angel leads the procession, followed by Mary and Joseph or by guests carrying their images. The adults follow, carrying lighted candles. The "pilgrims" sing a song asking for shelter, and the hosts sing a reply, finally opening the doors to the guests and offering hot ponche, fried rosette cookies known as buñuelos, steaming hot tamales and other festive foods. The party ends with a piñata in the shape of the Christmas star.