What is a piñata used for in Spain?
A piñata is a decorated container of paper or clay that contains sweets, small toys, fruits, and nuts. It is the object of a game played in Mexico at children’s birthday parties and at Christmas celebrations, in which blindfolded children take turns trying to break the piñata with a stick to release the treats.
Most people believe piñatas are a strictly Mexican tradition, however, the piñata originated in Italy during the Renaissance. In the early part of the 16th century, Italians played a game that involved blindfolding a person and having him or her swing a stick at a clay pot, which was suspended in air.
The traditional style of piñata is a seven coned star, each cone standing as one of the seven deadly sins. The breaking of the piñata symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the candy and fruit inside the piñata stands as the temptation against wealth and earthly pleasures.
Line the children up from youngest to oldest so that everyone gets a turn to hit the piñata before the older and stonger children break it open. The players that are waiting for a turn must be back 15 feet from the pinata to avoid being hit by the stick or bat.
feminine noun (Southern Cone) brawl ⧫ scrap (informal)
Contrary to popular practice, piñatas are not only for children and are not only for birthdays. During the 13th century, Marco Polo is said to have brought the concept of the piñata to Italy during his travels. The Europeans linked the piñata with Lenten celebrations.
Piñatas don’t carry as much religious weight as they used to. Now they’ re mostly used as decoration for adult Cinco de Mayo parties and a fun way to distribute candy at kids’ birthday parties. The Lakeside Collection can help you celebrate just about any holiday!
Candy is considered the customary piñata stuffing, so you can’t really go without it. If you do, you may look like a scrooge. Smarties, pixie sticks, and licorice all work well for piñata filler ideas. But if you’re a purist, chocolate is the “healthiest” candy option.
The origin of the piñata is thought to date back over 700 years ago to Asia. The custom then spread to Spain, the first Sunday in Lent becoming a fiesta called the ‘Dance of the Piñata’. The Spanish used a clay container called “la olla”, the Spanish word for pot.
Piñatas are commonly associated with Mexico. The Spanish brought the European tradition to Mexico, although there were similar traditions in Mesoamerica, such as the Aztecs’ honoring the birthday of the god Huītzilōpōchtli in mid-December.
But the pinata has also been associated with other Christian values. With hope: when it dances on the rope, above the heads of the party guests, everyone turns –looking for the prize- their eyes towards heaven. And with charity: when it is broken, everyone can share the prize.
The piñata is then hung somewhere where everyone can see, but the strings are kept out of the reach of children. Toward the end of the party, usually after the cutting of the cake, an announcement is made that the piñata will be ‘broken’ and each child is given an empty party bag.
Pinatas WITHOUT strings are good for people of all ages, but a bit of strength and precision is required to hit the target and successfully break open the shape. They’re better in big spaces, a garage or outside! To break it, you’ll need a broom stick or a bat long enough to reach the pinata.
Fill a pinata with candy and toys through the opening located on the top or back of the figure. Push the end of a piece of rope through the loop attached to the top of the pinata and tie a double knot to ensure the rope will hold the weight of the filled pinata.