The Piñatas are a very old Mexican tradition that’s part of one of the biggest Christmas celebration in my country, the Posadas. Read about it after the jump!
The Posadas are a Mexican Christmas celebration that was originally created as a tool to teach the natives about religion. Nowadays, even though they still have a strong religious component, Posadas are a great chance to get together with your friends and family to have a good time before everybody goes away for Christmas.
There are several traditions that take place in the celebration of the Posadas, but today I want to speak to you about the famous piñatas.
They come in several shapes and sizes, but the most traditional ones are made out of clay, wrapped with paper mache and later on covered with shiny colorful paper. Inside a piñata, you’ll find all sorts of fruits and candies that will fall out when the piñata is finally broken.
Piñatas are hung way up high so everybody is able to see them, but also to prevent them from grabbing the goodies. The fun starts when the person that will try to break the piñata is blindfolded then spun around to disorient him or her. They start hitting the air while everybody laughs and sings to let them know how close they are to the “target” and how much time they’ve got to try to break it before its someone else’s turn. When somebody actually breaks the piñata, the goodies come flying out in all directions while people jump to catch as much as possible while they laugh and enjoy their catch sitting on the floor.
The origin of the piñata comes from the monks who tried to teach the natives religion. The original piñata had 7 spikes, one for every deadly sin, and bright colors that represented temptation. The idea was that since the blindfold would give the person “blind faith” to overcome temptation and achieve the good that came from going to heaven.
Whatever the true origin might be, these days, piñatas are a great way to spend time together with your friends and family and they represent one of the most joyful Christmas traditions in Mexico.