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JOSEPH (PROCESSION OF THE POSADA). "In commemoration of the nine days of wandering, Mexican posadas last nine days. In many houses processions are formed, and the people of a family join in it, carrying tapers and singing litanies; figures of Joseph and [Pg 326] Mary are carried in front of each procession, and every door that is passed on the round is knocked upon in the effort to obtain shelter. The sound of the lita

nies is to be heard all over the city; court-yards and windows are hung with numerous la

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nterns, and all the public places are richly ornamented, and abound with pleasure-seekers. "The principal sport of the posa

da is breaking the pinate, an earthen jar filled with dulces. The jar is richly decorated on the outside, and ornamented wit

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h ribbons of paper. The pinates are made in the shape of all known and many unknown birds and beasts, and also in the shape

of dolls, some of them being of great size. Peddlers go about the streets with these things suspended from a pole, and the n

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umber sold at Christmas-time is very large. "When the ceremonial procession is over the party goes to the patio, or to a la

rge room of the house, and there the fun begins. A pinate is suspended from the ceiling, or from a cord stretched across the

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patio, and then one of the party, blindfolded and armed with a stick, sets about breaking the pinate; sometimes half a doze

n are blindfolded at once, and then the fun is lively. When the pinate is broken the dulces fall to the floor, and everybody

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scrambles for them. Altogether, the game reminds us of blind-man's-buff and some of our other home sports. "A good many people omit the religious part of the posada and come at once to the jug-breaking. In wealthy families posadas often cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars; the ladies receive handsome and valuable presents, and the broken pinates have been kn

own to yield showers of rings and gold coins, instead of the regulation sweetmeats. The affair concludes with a grand dance, and the participants do not reach home until a very late, or early, hour. "All through the Christmas and New-year festivities there are grand balls, dinners, theatre parties, and the like; everybody indulges in festivity according to his means, and

not infrequently beyond them; and when the affair is over, and the realities of life come again, the tradesmen who seek to collect their bills make the time doubly serious. In some parts of the country the pastorela, or pastoral, t

akes the place of the posada; the amusements are pretty much the same, the principal difference being that another incident of the nativity is taken as the ground-work of the ceremonial. THE RAILWAY JUDAS. "Another popular festi

val is on the last day of Holy Week, which is devoted to the death of Judas. Effigies of Judas abound everywhere; they are hung on trees and from windows, on lamp-posts, balconies—in fact, everywhere they can be made to hang. You s

ee them on the front [Pg 327] of every locomotive on that day, and on many another vehicle; in fact, it would be easier to say where Judas is not than where he is. The figures are of all dimensions, but usually of life size. They

are filled with fireworks of various sorts, so that they explode when a match is touched to them. If from any cause they do not explode, they are torn in pieces when they fall to the ground. In thus destroying them the people indic

ate their detestation of the betrayer of his Master. Not infrequently the figures that are hung from private houses have thirty silver dollars pasted upon them, as a reminder of the thirty pieces of silver which were the traitor's p

rice. Of course there is a lively scramble for these coins when the Judas falls to the ground." chapter xxi EXCURSION TO TULA.—AN ANCIENT CITY OF THE TOLTECS.—CHURCH OF THE TIME OF CORTEZ.—MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE TOLTECS.—

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TOLTEC KINGS, COURTS, AND KNIGHTHOOD.—RUINS OF THE TEMPLE AND PALACE.—JOURNEY TO MORELOS.—INTEROCEANIC RAILWAY.—MORELOS AND HIS SERVICES TO MEXICO.—CUAUTLA AND ITS ATTRACTIONS.—TERRIBLE RAILWAY ACCIDENT.—DOWN THE SOUTHERN SLOPE.—IN TIERRA CALIENTE.—VISITING A SUGAR ESTATE.—TO YAUTEPEC AND CUERNAVACA.—RIDE OVER THE MOUNTAINS.—SITUATION OF CUERNAVACA.—OLD CHURC


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