CLU celebrated its annual gathering of Las Posadas, a tradition that harks back to the eve of Christmas when, according to the Bible, Joseph led a donkey carrying Mary to seek shelter for the birth of their son, Jesus.
California Lutheran University’s Latin American Student Organization (LASO) members led a group of men, women and children through campus on Sunday night, singing Christmas songs and holding a candles to light their path.
“It was such a beautiful experience to walk under the light breeze, holding a candle and celebrating a tradition that is dear and near to my heart,” said junior Bridgette Carrillo. “This is something my family and I engage in every year around Christmas time.”
The breeze constantly blew out participants’ candles, so people gathered closely and lit one another’s candles when they were extinguished. The people walked across campus to the Lundring Events Center where the event concluded.
Observers were welcomed with hot chocolate, canela (cinnamon tea) and pan dulce (sweet bread).
Elena Jaloma, director of Student Support Services (SSS) and advisor for LASO, explained that events like Las Posadas are important to the community because they help gather everyone together to take some time to appreciate one another’s traditions and beliefs.
“It’s nice that we get to work with the Multicultural Office and invite community members,” said Jaloma.
Senior and president of LASO, Maria Gomez, explained how grateful she was to everyone who showed up at the event. It helped LASO meet one of their goals, to provide a cultural environment that allows individuals to become aware of other cultures and come together during the holidays to celebrate.
“I know the event has been going on for a while now and as my second year here with LASO, I have seen the importance of events like these because we are showing everyone what the Catholic tradition is about and what the journey for Joseph and Mary was like,” said Gomez.
After the gathering for hot drinks and sweet bread came to an end, the attendees gathered outside to break a piñata and to celebrate. The piñata symbolizes the gathering of loved ones.
Junior Marco Camargo, who played Joseph during the journey, explained how this brought him closer to home as it is a tradition that is celebrated among his family.
“This is my second year playing the role of Joseph,” said Camargo. “It is always a fun thing to do.”
Las Posadas, which means “lodging,” originated in Spain and has been celebrated in Mexico for more than 400 years.
Published Nov. 7, 2012