No it’s not a rave or trance party although it may sound like one. Church bells ring at 12 at Misa del Gallo, the Rooster’s Mass. Legend has it that a crowing rooster announced the birth of Jesus and the historical gathering was named as such. Mass takes place from the mountains in Barcelona to any candlelit local Catholic church. A countdown to Christmas turns into a room of prayer and a gathering for one of the world’s most widely celebrated birthdays. “The energy and love during that mass is indescribable,” says Gabriel Tejada, a parishioner from Our Lady of Miracles in New York City. “My grandmother flies to New York every year from Spain to be with the family during midnight mass. It’s amazing that we’ve kept the tradition.”
Lucky Number 9
Every evening from December 16th until Christmas Eve, communities in Mexico come together for Las Posadas. A reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s trek from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter or posada. Complete with being turned away from various “inns” which in this case are homes throughout the community. The tradition is practiced in Spain, Guatemala and in the Southwest states with predominately Latino communities. The nine-day celebration represents Mary’s nine months of pregnancy and includes adults dressed as pilgrims. The gathering is not only a religious observance but is also a way for families to gather during the holidays. Las Posadas ends with midnight mass and a grand party featuring star-shaped piñatas and a large feast.