History of the Pinata

kids playing pinata

History of the pinata - Pinatas are immensely popular at kids parties these days. But do you know their history and where they came from?

Find out all about the pinata here plus learn how to make your own pinata.

History of the pinata

It is thought that the word Piñata is derived from the Spanish verb apiñar, 'to join or bind in a bundle', although some say that it originated in Italy in the 16th century.

Today the game Pinata is closely associated with the Mexican celebration of Christmas whereby festive occasions called Posadas are held every night from the 18th - 24th of December. Families and friends get together to sing, dance and to party but for the children the highlight of the evening is the breaking of the Pinata!

The original Pinatas were made from simple clay pots or earthenware jars that were filled with trinkets, coins and sweets. The jar was suspended from a tree or frame by a rope and a blindfolded person had to try and hit it with a stick whilst it was swung back and forth. Once the pot was broken, all the guests would rush forward to collect the contents.

Today the pinata is an important part of Latin-American tradition. However it is rapidly spreading to other continents where it is used as part of Christmas and birthday celebrations.

Although clay is still used, today the pinata is more commonly made out of Papier Maché and can take various shapes. Flowers, fruit, animals and birds are the most common although the star representing the star of Bethlehem is still very popular.

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