There’s lots of food, people mingling and enjoying the entertainment and revelries. Suddenly, a piñata is revealed and the excitement and thrill amongst the partygoers heightens.
You find yourself giddy with anticipation for the goodies in the piña… Who’s going to be chosen to break the piñata and how quickly that person can break the Mexican piñata open?
What Is a Piñata?
A piñata is defined as a play thing that’s essentially made like a container with materials like cardboard or papier mache. Originally Indigenous people used clay to make it. Today piñatas are filled with toys, candy, trinkets, or jewelry.
What makes it so fun to have a piñata at a party or festival is that, it is suspended from a high place and partygoers are blindfolded as they try to hit the piñata with sticks trying to break it open.
In many Hispanic American homes people hang them from trees in the backyard or nogal like Mexicans call it. This beautiful tradition it perfectly represented in the famous book for children “Arroz con Frijoles…Unos Amables Ratones” by Pam Ryan.
The story tells how Catalina’s grandma prepares a birthday party for her grandchild and the main attraction is la piñata. This story shows how important this tradition is for Hispanic families where they gather to enjoy beans and rice and celebrate children’s birthdays with piñatas.
Types of Piñatas
What do I like the most about piñatas…Their flexibility! There are many kinds you can use or make depending on the occasion. For example, a Hispanic Wedding Couple piñata has a specific theme that revolves around the novios, doves or hearts.
A piñata for Las Posadas Mexicanas calls for a typical piñata in the shape of a star. For birthday celebrations there is more flexibility. You can use a typical star or your favorite character.
Another possibility is to make your own following your imagination! Make a Paper Mache piñata with your children. It is fun even though it is an involved process.
Mexican Piñata History
It’s a popular belief that piñatas originated in Hispanic culture among the Mayans, Aztecs and natives of Mexico.
In the olden times, it has been said that on the birthday of Huitzilopochitli, the Aztec god of war, priests hung a clay pot from one of the temple’s poles.
The pot was decorated with feathers and inside the pot were colorful stones, nuts, bead ornaments, painted stones or berries. After breaking the pot with a stick, the contents spilled on the feet of the image of the god representing an offering.
To know more about piñata history check out my page about it here go to piñata history.
Today, there are Spanish Christmas piñatas, Hispanic wedding couple piñatas and many other piñata ideas. It’s easy for people to obtain the perfect paper mache piñata for an event, and if you like piñatas to be part of the excitement at any party you host, you can learn about how to make a piñata.
No matter what country you reside in, piñatas have far and extended reach. If you want a piñata for your child’s birthday party, you can even get it in the shape of his or her favorite character.
Remember that fillings are also very important. When I celebrate my son’s birthday I make sure to buy the typical Mexican or traditional candies from Hispanic America.
For parties with adults, piñatas have the same effect. They can be shaped in the company’s logo for a company party or it can be shaped into something significant for the partygoers.
Aside from the beauty and character piñatas have, breaking the Mexican piñata is a thrill. There’s the excitement of waiting for the blindfolded person to break it and there’s the anticipation about what’s inside the piñata as it breaks.
Go ahead and get a piñata for the event you’re planning, or better yet, start making one and let the joy, goodies and fun spill out and pour over your gathering with friends and family.