MEXICO: Posada Time

For weeks Indians had been filling the markets of Mexico City with Christmas goods. Over the mountains from Toluca and Puebla they had come dogtrotting, their backs piled high with big clay pots (piñatas), their burros laden with little clay figurines of Joseph, Mary, the Christ Child, shepherds, lambs and the Three Kings.

This week, alongside tenement doors and the imposing iron-grill porticoes of mansions, the little figurines glinted in the light of the December moon. For the humble poor as well as the rich, it was Posada time, the season of Mexico's traditional pre-Christmas parties, when visitors go from house...

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