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The History of The Piñata

May 04, 2015

Piñatas are a fun part of traditional Mexican festivities, whether it’s a birthday party or Cinco de Mayo. It's fun to see these brightly decorated candy-filled creations (and even more fun to take a whack at them) but piñatas actually have a long and fascinating history that spans the globe and different ancient cultures. Find out more about the history of the piñata!

Chinese Cheer

Some people say that the idea of the piñata actually originated in China. When Marco Polo, a European explorer, first visited China he noticed that the people celebrated their lunar New Year with figures of cows, oxen and buffaloes decorate with colorful tissue paper. The figures would be filled with seeds and then pelted by revelers with mandarins, so when the seeds rained over the party it symbolised good crops and prosperity. The remains were then burned into ash for good luck.

Latin Craftin’

This idea traveled back to Europe with Marco Polo, back to Italy and eventually Spain as well and started appearing in the 14th Century. The word “pignatta” means “fragile pot”. Early piñatas were clay pots similar to ones that carry water, and in the 14th Century it was adopted as a way to celebrate Christian festivities, especially Lent.

In Spain the first day of Lent became “The Dance of the Piñata”, and as part of the festivities the plain clay pots became more and more decorated and colorful, often with ribbons and streamers and fringed paper.

Aztec Allure

In the 16th Century the Spanish brought the custom of piñatas to the new world. They used the piñatas as a way of attracting the Mayan people to Christianity and converting them, but funnily enough both cultures already had similar traditions.

The native people of Mexico worshipped The Aztec God of War Huitzilopochtli by decorating a clay pot in vibrant colors, feathers and materials and placing it on a stick outside their temples at the year’s end. The Mayans loved public festivities, so they would cover their eyes and try to hit the decorated pot with a stick. The pot was often filled with jewels and treasures! The treasures would then fall outside the temple as an offering to the god of war.

The Ancient Aztecs worshipped the God of War using an early version of a pinataThe Ancient Aztecs worshipped the God of War using an early version of a pinata

Have Your Say

Do you like piñatas? Have you ever made one? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Poll

Why Are Players Spun 33 Times?

  • It takes 33 hits to break open the pinata.
  • To confuse the player as much as possible.
  • It represents Jesus Christ's age when he was crucified.
  • It's a good luck number in Hispanic culture.

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AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"KingShawn13" wrote:I'm interested on how prophets and Seers fit into the whole free will discussion? Because if they can truly see the future than that means free will doesn't exist and we are just following the agenda of the universe. Or it could be that they know the choices which we will freely make. 
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AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"trinityac" wrote:As of right now I am Bigender and there shouldn't be gender roles. Um....
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labimba
labimba posted in Debating:
YEAHHHH this is a good point, well one possibility is that what the prophets see is only ONE POSSIBLE FUTURE,  The Middle Eastern people, idk if you are into history but they had a lot of prophets in their times  where they would predict stuff, God would tell them certain info.  Like one time this prophet saw in a vision that this evil king had killed another guy so he could grab the guy's property for his own use.    He made sure the guy was killed legally so it was all cool but the prophet saw the truth so he went after him and told him he was going to die for what he did. Then the king felt really scared and guilty --so then God had mercy on him and said he wouldn't have to die.    His wife still did though 'cuz she was off the charts evil.    Does not ALWAYs work though like King David, he killed some guy and slept with his wife and had a kid and the prophet said the kid would die, and the kid died even though David was sick to his stomach feeing guilty about it.  
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EndlessDream
EndlessDream posted in General:
dfghiud
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EndlessDream
EndlessDream posted in General:
Gingerbread 
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