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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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simran88
simran88 posted in Say Anything:
@AlphaT  You've posted on behalf of everyone else. In their style. XD Now no one needs to post. God bless you for ending a thread in which everyone would post the same opinion and say the same thing. XD
reply about 2 hours
ThePaleWalker636
I found the greatest riddle ever (credits to Ted-Ed), and I want to see if anyone can solve it without looking up the answer. THE RIDDLE OF THE ALIEN OVERLORDS. You and your team have crashed-landed on an ancient planet. The only way off is to appease its three alien overlords, TEE, EFF, and ARR, by giving them the correct artifacts. Unfortunately, you don't know who is who. From an inscription, you learn that you may ask three yes or no questions, each addresses to any one lord. Tee's answers are always true. Eff's answers are always false.  And Arr's answers are random. But, there's a problem. You've deciphered the language enough to ask any question, but you don't know which of the two words 'ozo' and 'ulu' means yes, and which means no. How can you still figure out which alien is which?
reply about 3 hours
CRCardinal
Fear: The Emotion of Death   You can't see me, But I'm there. I'm in your tears, I'm everywhere. I stalk you in your shadow, So stealthy and no slack. I'm made of dark matter, You better watch your back. You can hear me, I'm your beating heart. Inside is emptiness, Tearing you apart. You shiver and shake, At the sound of my name. I engulf you, drown you, Surround you with shame.   I've seen destruction, More than anyone. I'm darker than, The world with no sun. The agony arises, There's so much red. Most of it coming, From the dead. I become your shadow, I'm a terrible sight. And when you see me, You're frozen with fright. I'll grab you by your neck, You'll be thrashing around. You're crying, shrieking, Until there's no sound.   I feel so sad, So empty, so. . . Alone. So you'll feel the same, You'll be on your own. And as long as you are with me, At the point of no return. You will go crazy. You'll crash and burn.   Then you understand, With your slowing of breath. That I am Fear, The Emotion of Death.
reply about 5 hours
XxRuby_PhoenixxX
[Warning: Boring]     It all started on one night where I was doing a quiz on Playbuzz. They were fun, but my mom thought they were inappropriate. Searching the web, she found this site and saw it had quizzes on it. They weren't that fun, honestly. And this site? It was kidzworld. I forced her to let me make an account, and we did. No status. No bio. No mood. No picture. I swore to not go in chatroom or chat with people, because apparently they could be an old man in a basement. I nodded in agreement, saying that she could trust me. Of course, I did some quizzes and went off. That night, we went to bed of course. Now major time skip.    It's, let's say, three nights later. About midnight, and my iPod is next to me. I decided to go and check out "kids world". Clicking into "login", I guessed my password since I really forgot it. Score! Got it right. Anyways, I look around. Forums. Quizzes. Games. And then something spotted my eye.  Chatroom.  Clicking on it, I typed in these exact words.  "Hello?" And that's how my journey started. A few days later, maybe a week, I was introduced to the "boards". Clicking on it, I immediately saw the Roleplay section. Unknowing what it was, I created "Lemini The Witch" and got into an argument with someone who I will not name((*Cough* Gpc78 )). Anyways, I deleted the post. My first Roleplay I made was Crystal Heights. Noobish, stupid, horrible. But surprisingly, people joined. This is where my soon-to-be-best- friend, Ivy, entered my virtual life. And my other best friends. first message: "Are you going to post? We're waiting for you two lovebirds! ;)". Conversation continued. And continued. Our bond grew and grew, until we had reached 100 pages of private messages. 100. Pages. I couldn't believe it at first. 100 pages of messages with my soon-to-be-best-friend. As most of you know, a few months ago, I created several hundred opportunities for advanced roleplayers who were not acknowledged to go through the gates of Roleplaying Heaven. Including me. I helped them by creating the Top Ten Roleplayers, and "accidently" tagging every single advanced Roleplayer. Even Musicgenius showed up. This is a process in the soon to be made   "Roleplaying Council", which I am a part of. During this, me and Ivy were nearing 300 pages of private messages. Crystal Heights was over, but my life was going uphill, closer to opportunity. Even in real life, my hopes were flying closer to the clouds. A few months after this, my faith in the Lord started to fade. I am 10, I started to realize the true meaning of the Bible and what it's message was. I was stuck in the middle of what seemed like a tornado, being swept over to one side, but then jerked back to the other, while being hurt in the progress. I was tearing myself apart. That's went the tornado stopped. It was just rain. I was closer to finding out my true religion. And that was atheism. I felt like I had to have a religion, like something had to have created the universe. My heart was leaning towards Christianity, but my mind was going to atheism. Go with your mind, not your heart, was my instinct. Me and Ivy were nearing 500 pages of private messages. Little did we know that I would be deleting my account and coming back as Ruby Phoenix. As the days passed, my hatred for my user grew. I finally decided to message Jordan that "Please delete my account". I don't know if it was a good thing or bad mistake I did that, but it's too late now. After this,  I felt like my roleplaying creativity was fading away. My titles weren't original like my old ones. I had changed a lot.  And I mean a lot.  On Animal Jam, I was afraid of deleting a buddy. Now I do it without hesitation. I don't cry as much. Like a shell has grown around my emotions. Thanks to the internet, I've grown tougher.  A few months later, my days were, and are, gloomier. I was, and still am, always stressed about tomorrow. If I have too much work. If I can't do things right. If I mess up. If I do anything wrong. I am confused. Why am I here? Where do we go after we die? Why didn't I just continue to not exist? What is my purpose? What's my religion? So many questions for a 10 year old in my fizzing, overloading mind.    I just wanted to share this, just to. 
reply about 6 hours
ScoobysFriend
Listen closely.
reply about 7 hours