Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Looking at the History of Pinata

Cinco de mayo is coming on Monday and being a bank holiday weekend, you can opt to celebrate it by breaking some pinatas. Why Pinatas? Because it is one of many tradition associated with Mexico.

However the pinata actually originated in China when Marco Polo discovered figures like cows, oxen and other animals decorated in bright paper and filled with colored sticks, and seeds which the people would knock them and burn the remains and gathered the ashes for good luck in the New Year.This custom passed through Europe, particularly Italy where it became a tradition of Lent and eventually spread to other countries around Europe and eventually to Spain. 

Originally, the pinata represented Satan. It was made to be bright and beautiful to lure innocent people into touching it and the candies, fruits and nuts inside represented the temptations of the Devil. The stick used to hit the pinata represented goodness to fight the evil. The person hitting the pinata was blindfolded to represented blind faith. Once the pinata broke and let out the goodies, the goodies represented just a reward. Then the pinata symbolized 'charity' because everyone got to share in the wonderful gifts and blessings. 

The Spanish then bought this tradition to Mexico, to be specific to the Aztec Indians through its explorers. The Aztecs willfully adopted this activity because it was strangely similar to a custom they already practiced. 
They decorated clay pots of their own and filled them with treasures to celebrate the birthday of the god of war and would beat the clay pot, which was strung in front of an image of the god of war, and the treasures would fall to the feet of the image as an offering to him. On the other hand, Maya Indians also used pinatas, but they blindfolded each other to make it more of a sport. 

Since the Aztecs and Mayas belong in Mexico, this tradition spread throughout the country and has evolved with pinatas being decorated differently according to different heritage and is mostly used as a fun activity for birthday parties and Las Posadas, the time to welcome the Christmas season in Mexico. 

Now you know the history behind the pinata, get your hands on one in store or online and celebrate cinco de mayo like no other. 

Not only pinatas, we also have sombreros , so come down to the store or buy it online. 

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