The posadas are one of the most important and fun Mexican traditions: there are songs, piñatas are broken, we eat tamale with punch and, almost at the end of the celebration, the bonus, full of sweets, snacks and fruits.
The delivery of Christmas bonuses is one of the most anticipated at the inn, only after the long-awaited piñata full of delicacies. But where does this tradition come from? Today we tell you its history and curiosities.
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The delicious tradition of the Christmas gift
Although it was the missionaries who started the tradition of posadas in Mexico during the Conquest period, the tradition of the Christmas gift is much older than you might imagine.
Its meaning dates back to Ancient Rome, during the reign of Romulus, the first monarch and founder of the Eternal City.
His employees brought him some branches of a fruit tree from the forest of Strenia, the goddess of health and luck, This was an offering that was considered an omen of good luck to start the new year, and was distributed at the beginning of this .
Later, the tradition was modified, and instead of giving the branches of the fruit tree, they were exchanged for other types of gifts, such as pieces of gold, clothing and even furniture.
However, this tradition became increasingly popular and in the long run, expensive gifts were replaced by sweets and fruits, but they continued to be given on the first day of the year.
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Christmas bonuses in Mexico
The tradition of the Christmas gifts lasted for centuries and arrived in Mexico during the Conquest, but instead of being distributed in the new year, the Christmas gifts began to be distributed during the 9 days of posadas.
“Aguinaldo” comes from the Latin expression hoc in anno, which means “in this year”, which symbolizes a special present that is given to people.
For the same reason, at the end of the year, workers receive a certain percentage of their salary as a form of present for the year worked.
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