Piñatas: 4 things you should know

Mexican Piñatas: 4 Things You Didn’t Know

What is a piñata?
A traditional Mexican piñata is a decorated container, it was typically made of a clay jar, but nowadays, it is often replaced by papier- mâché, cardboard or even balloons. Piñatas have a hollow cavity and are filled with candy, small toys, confetti, or fruit. The original and traditional piñata is star-shaped with seven or ten points, which have a religious meaning. The piñata is hanged from a rope and is repeatedly beaten by children, and sometimes adults, with a wooden stick, and a special song is repeatedly sung while each person takes their turn.

These days, piñatas in the form of cartoon characters and superheroes are an essential part of any Mexican child’s birthday party, but are also an integral part of the December holiday season, and we want to share with you four facts about them:

1.Piñatas are a Christmas Essential in Mexico

Piñatas are a colorful key element in Posadas, which are an annual tradition that runs during the holiday season in Mexico from December 16 to 24. During this traditional celebration, family, friends, and neighbors get together to represent Mary’s and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, there is also food, music, and of course, one or several piñatas.

2.It is believed that its origin is in China

Piñatas have a rich history that spans many different countries and cultures.
Although piñatas are thought to have originated in China, where Marco Polo saw the celebration of the sowing season at the beginning of spring and brought the tradition back to Italy. The Chinese version of the piñata was typically in the form of a farm animal, and it was filled with seeds. Nowadays, it is strongly identified with Mexico, where the tradition can be traced back to the ancient Aztec culture

3.The Meaning of the Traditional Mexican Christmas Piñata

The traditional Christmas piñata is shaped like a seven-pointed star, or a ball with points. It has religious significance as each point represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. There is also a ten-pointed piñata that symbolizes the sins that come from breaking the Ten Commandments. The bright colors represent temptation while the act of breaking the piñata with the eyes covered implies an act of faith, and the stick represents the will to overcome sin.

4. The Tradition is to Fill Piñatas with Seasonal Fruit

Although birthday piñatas are generally filled with modern candy and small
toys, Christmas piñatas contain fruit such as jicamas, pieces of sugar cane, guavas, tangerines, and tejocotes, and traditional Mexican candy. The sweets and fruits in the piñata’s inner clay pot stand for the pleasures that evil offers man to attract him to the underworld, once the piñata gets broken, the shower of candy and fruit represent divine rewards for having overcome the evil.

How to Make a Piñata at Home

You can also make your own piñata at home, here we give you an idea with this step-by-step video.