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A fiesta tradition that has become a favorite at

many parties is the piñata!  You may not know

that the piñata came originally from CHINA where it

                                                was part of the New Year

                                                ceremonies. The custom

                                                was introduced to Europe

                                                by Marco Polo. In ITALY

                                                it was called “pignatta,”

                                                meaning “fragile pot.”

                                                This Renaissance period

                                                game involved hanging a

                                                pineapple-shaped pignatta

                                                from the ceiling and breaking it to receive the      

treats  inside. The game became popular in Spain where it changed into a lenten tradition and important part of masquerades and dances.

The piñata made its way to Mexico by way of the Spanish conquistadores.  The missionaries used the piñata as a way to teach the native peoples about good and evil, the piñata often symbolizing Satan and evil. The  religious symbolism expanded to teach about the 7 cardinal sins ( the piñata was decorated like a star with 7 points symbolizing the 7 cardinal sins). The fruits, nuts and sweets inside were the earthly temptations meant to lure people into evil ways.  The blindfolded person  represented faith, the stick was virtue and the treats were the reward for persevering in your faith.

From being a lenten tradition, piñatas grew to become a festive part of Christmas celebrations. The humble clay pot was decorated not just as a star, but took about any shapes as can be imagined. It became a parrot, a donkey, a flower with brightly colored streamers flowing from it.  Nowadays, it is not only found at Christmas time, but has become a popular game for birthdays as well as any other happy occasion.

Here is a lively video you may enjoy called “Rompe la Piñata” (“Break the Piñata”)

Want to make your own pinata?  WATCH video below for a simple demonstration on how to make a paper mache pinata.


click here for Downloadable Instructions on how to make a SUPER SIMPLE PAPER BAG PINATA!

How to make a Piñata!

iLa  Piñata!