Las Posadas celebrates 400-year-old Hispanic Christmas tradition
By: Raphael Cosme
Special to Historic City News
Last Saturday was the second annual celebration of Las Posadas del Viejo San Augustine along St George Street in the historic Colonial Quarter.
This 400-year-old Hispanic Christmas reenactment portrays the procession of Mary and Joseph, seeking lodging to deliver the baby Jesus in Bethlehem on the first Christmas Eve. The tradition has been celebrated by numerous processions throughout the New World.
Discovered by Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied city, port and parish of European origin in the continental United States, making it qualified to hold the title “America’s Oldest City”.
Volunteers from Florida Living History presented the nighttime, candle-lit heritage event, set in the year 1580. The procession began on Orange Street at the City Gates, followed along St. George Street, and concluded at the Plaza de la Constitution.
A Tallahassee theater group, “Theater with a Mission”, presented a century’s-old scene from Lope de Vega’s “Shepherds and Angels Play” under the direction of Dr. Ben Gunter.
Father Gilbert Medina, pastor of All Souls Catholic Church in Sanford, closed the ceremonies with the traditional blessing.
Photo credits: © 2017 photographs by Raphael Cosme for Historic City News