On December 2 the Ballard Civic Orchestra will celebrate the Christmas tradition of “Las Posadas,” thanks to support from a 2016-17 4Culture grant. Posadas are an important part of Mexican Christmas traditions, community celebrations leading up to Christmas. The word posada means “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, and in this tradition, Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay is re-enacted. Posadas are held in neighborhoods across Mexico and are also becoming popular in the United States. The celebration begins with a procession in which the participants hold candles and sing Christmas carols.