La Posada y La Pastorela — the traditional Mexican re-enactment of the story of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem — will be held at California State University, Fresno tonight (Dec. 3) from 5 to 9 p.m.

A 45-minute procession will begin in the Peace Garden starting with a brief history and distribution of candles and end at the Satellite Student Union where entertainment, tamales and Mexican refreshments will be available.

The event, free and open to the public, is organized by the student group Teatro T.O.R.T.I.L.L.A. and co-sponsored by several campus Latino clubs and Ruiz Food Products, Inc. For more information, contact Victor Leon or Jose Gastelum at 278-7709.


Joseph Garduque, adviser of the Teatro T.O.R.T.I.L.L.A club at Fresno State, provides the following description of Las Posadas:

The Posada is a re–enactment of the story of Mary and Joseph, strangers and foreigners in Bethlehem, seeking shelter and hospitality in the hours just before the birth of Jesus. It is a most venerated and joyful Christmas tradition, both here and in Mexico. “Posada” in Spanish, simply means lodging or shelter. Nowadays, the posada has evolved into a religious and social celebration, paying a festive homage to the journey. Each one of these nights before Christmas, a party is held in a home in the neighborhood. There is plenty of food and drink, with candies and fruit for the children. At dusk, all the guests gather outside the house. A small child dressed as an angel leads, followed by children carrying figures of Mary and Joseph. Boys and girls dressed in silver and gold robes constitute the procession (optional), followed by the adults and musicians. Everyone sings melodious songs as they walk slowly along, carrying their lit candles. When they reach the house, the group divides in two. One half remains outside and begs for shelter from the other half, which is inside the house. The doors are then opened, the religious part of the celebration ends, and the fun begins.