Third time’s a charm!
Industry City played host to the third annual Posadas celebration, based on a Mexican holiday.
Along with IC, Mano a Mano, Mexican Culture Without Borders and Mixteca Organization presented the day that featured family fun by recreating the traditions of the Mexican community of New York.
Las Posadas is a novenario celebrated chiefly in Mexico and by Mexican-Americans in the United States, beginning December 16 and ending December 24.
On Saturday, December 17, over 200 people braved the snow and showed up to IC to participate in festivities including crafts, music and food, as well as a Posada, a singing holiday procession, and the breaking of piñatas.
For the second year, Mano a Mano, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of Mexican traditions through arts, culture, humanities, and annual celebrations of holidays, participated in IC’s event.
“It means a lot for many reasons,” said Juan Carlos Aguirre, executive director of the organization. “Industry City is kind of getting a lot of positive reception, so one of our objectives is to open spaces for community members of Mexican descent but also New Yorkers in general and have activities in common with our immigrant community and New Yorkers.”
Although it’s only the second time Mano a Mano hosted at Industry City, the organization has been doing it for 10 years, primarily in Harlem. Sunset Park gave the event a unique and diverse feel.
“It was great to be there,” he said. “There were mostly Mexicans and Hispanics in attendance, but there were also non-Hispanics who were participating, which is great. That’s what we want. The idea is to bring New Yorkers together across different cultural celebrations and people not familiar with them can learn by participate in them.”
For the second straight year, Mexteca was involved. The community-based organization located in Sunset Park focuses on addressing critical needs in health, education, social and legal issues facing the burgeoning Mexican and Latin American immigrant community in Brooklyn.
When Mano a Mano first participated at IC in 2014, Director of Community Engagement for Industry City Cristal Rivera was thrilled with its work. “Our perspective was to focus on building good relationships and form a bridge with the community of Sunset Park, where there is a large Mexican community, and it was great event to celebrate something relating to them,” she said after the first event at IC. “It was really amazing.”
Although there were many highlights throughout the day, the breaking of piñatas once again took top honors.
“Piñatas are supposed to be beautiful because they represent sin and have seven points with each one representing a capital sin,” added Aguirre. “People break one to conquer sin. The candy symbolizes rewards from heaven.”
Although they’re typically for children, adults got into the fun as well this year. “We thought it was time for us to have fun also,” Aguirre said. “So we have one for children and one for adults. It changes the atmosphere in the room and adults act like children.”