Like any holiday celebration worth its salt, Las Posadas traditions culminate in a veritable feast. Once the procession has been admitted to the house welcoming guests that night, explains Learn Religions, a party is had — one that can range from small and casual to huge and fancy. In either case, traditional foods and drinks will be served, notes kiwilimón, from hot, spiced fruit punch to the corn husk-wrapped masa snacks called tamales.
The heart of any posada celebration, tamales consist of the corn dough known as masa that’s typically stuffed with a savory filling, wrapped in a corn husk, and then steamed in a big pot (via The Spruce Eats). The snacks are served on repeat during Las Posadas because it’s a communal kitchen task that brings family and friends together to roll, stuff, and wrap the tamales – ideal for uniting folks during Christmas, per We Are Cocina. They’re also perfect for making ahead of time in bulk and keeping warm until the procession finally arrives. Tamales filled with Oaxacan-style mole are a common savory option, kiwilimón notes, while those stuffed with cream cheese and blackberries make for a sweet finale.