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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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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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Pastella
Pastella posted in New Users:
"-TrueMorality-" wrote:I just wanna call you Pasta, lol. Anyway you have some interesting info about you. Hope you get along and settle down in the community. Welcome to KW.  ok xD Pasta it is :3. Thank  you, I'm sure I will ^-^ 
reply 4 minutes
littleunicorn
so I didt have that bad of a day.i went to the librarey today.I got my favirite books.So then I got to eat a penut butter and jelly with corrots,chips and some leamon nade.me and my mom are going on a hike later on.Sometimes my mom can a pain in the butt;pShe is sometimes she can be really mean.So tomarow I am going to write. So thats all today see you tomarrow.
reply 6 minutes
astucieuse331
astucieuse331 posted in Debating:
I'm a perfectionist, but I don't care about outer appearances, which explains why my room is always messy. If you'd pay me 5 bucks a week if I keep it clean every day, then I would definitely clean my room to crisp perfection. Moving on to my 'perfectionism'. Well, I get incredibly frustrated and even start crying if I can't comprehend a lesson or my homework. Last time this happened, I was so angry that I went to bed, hoping that tomorrow, the deal would be cleared up. If someone helps me do something that I can't, I feel defeated and embarrassed, just like the O.P. So I force myself to do my homework alone until I eventually think I get it. When I get mad, I try to distance myself from others and stay in my room, calming down and relaxing to make the anger pass away, unlike many. I don't want to risk getting mad at the others, fearing that it'll make a bad situation in the future. I'd say I'm a good drawer when it comes to anime, so I try to make my pictures really, really, really perfect. This is what I think: Ugh, the eye shape on the right looks weird! What's up with that mouth? It's so hard to draw eyelashes!  I'm going to need to redo the irises. Should I make the nose stand out or not? This face does not look like an anime girl's face! Have I drawn some sort of monster? So, yeah, it does sound like I'm quite the perfectionist, but I'm very lazy and won't blow up in somebody's face because they ruined something I made with such detailed perfection.
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-TrueMorality-
-TrueMorality- posted in General:
kayme9
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-TrueMorality-
-TrueMorality- posted in General:
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