The Highlands University mariachi group, Mariachi Vaqueros de la Sierra, will provide the musical accompaniment to the Las Vegas/San Miguel Chamber of Commerce’s newly instituted Las Posadas celebration Dec. 8 beginning at 4 p.m. in the Plaza Park gazebo, preceding the start of the annual Electric Light Parade.Las Posadas is a centuries-old reenactment of the search of Joseph and Mary for lodging, prior to the birth of Jesus. It combines elements of two age-old Christmas traditions: the house visit tradition, common throughout Europe and North and South America, where community members share song, refreshment, and fellowship at each other’s houses, with the medieval mystery plays, which commemorate events surrounding the birth of Christ. Originating in 16th-century Mexico, it is now celebrated throughout North and South America, including Hispanic areas of the U.S., where it serves to reinforce Latino identity by recalling Hispanic tradition. Traditionally, Las Posadas take place on nine consecutive nights, beginning Dec. 16 and culminating on Christmas Eve, immediately preceding Midnight Mass at the local Roman Catholic church. Today, the celebration is often performed as a one-time secular event.The Highlands University mariachi will provide instrumental accompaniment, and sing the traditional songs, which accompany and narrate the pilgrims’ requests for lodging, and the responses from the homeowners.