I want to thank “Piñatas and Dulces Regaliz” for allowing me to take some photos/ Quiero agradecer a “Piñatas y Dulces Regaliz” por permitirme tomar algunas fotos.
address/ dirección: Calzada de la Estación #40, San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
In Mexico, Christmas festivities officially begin with the Posadas, a series of nine parties occurring every day from the 16th until the 24th of December. Posadas are said to have been invented by the Spanish priests who in their attempt to convert the locals to Catholicism began holding nine masses before Christmas due to the similar timing of the celebration of the birth of the Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli. This gave way to the syncretism of both traditions, melding both the Aztec and Catholic holidays into one.
Posadas occur in the evenings, consisting of a reenactment of Mary and Joseph asking for lodging before arriving at the manger. During this reenactment, half of the people stay inside, these are the innkeepers, and the other half goes outside singing and asking for lodging in a candlelit procession that lasts until they reach the place of the party (where the innkeepers are). Once they let them in, the party begins. During the party, Christmas carols are sung, fruit punch is consumed, and a star-shaped piñata is broken. This is the original use of a piñata, a custom that was later adopted for use in birthday parties and other festivities.
Although piñatas have largely lost their religious connotations and are now made in a wide variety of shapes, the traditional piñata is star-shaped and has 7 points, symbolizing the seven deadly sins that are broken by the stick, representing the strength and faith in God. The person attempting to break the piñata must be blindfolded. Once the piñata is broken, the filling, consisting of traditionally candy, fruits and peanuts, is released for everyone to enjoy.
Traditional piñatas are made with a clay pot that is covered in paper maché and decorated with colorful paper. To take a closer look at how they are made take a look at this Piñatas! post on Mexico Cooks!
To make your own piñata for the holidays, you can use a balloon covered in paper maché as a base, adding different shapes and decorations to that.
Piñata: The Birth of a Tradition
Mexican Heritage by
Mario I. González
Translation: Tina French
The piñata is an object generally made of clay, cardboard or papier maché. Originally, its shape resembled a star with seven conical points. According to Catholic tradition, each of these represented the seven capital sins. Therefore, its ultimate destruction meant the extinction of sin through the birth of Jesus. This is the reason why these objects were used primarily during the Christmas season.
When they first appeared, piñatas were filled with fruit and candies, known in Mexico as “colaciones”, the reward for the rejection of sin. In this day and age, piñatas are filled with all kinds of candies, seasonal fruits, small games, trinkets and toys to delight the children.
In spite of what one would imagine, it appears that piñatas were not created in Mexico, but in China, from which place they were introduced to the west by Marco Polo himself. Moreover, it’s now a known fact that the term piñata comes from the Italian pignatta, which means “fragile pot”.
It has been said that piñatas were then taken to Spain, and continued their way towards Latin America, where the Augustinian monks took advantage of the object’s unusual qualities and used it as a means to evangelize the native population. However, it has also been found that the ancient Mexicans or Aztecs had a similar ritual in honor of god Huitzilopochtli, and that the friars, noting the similarities between the two “rites”, promoted the piñata’s process of syncretism.
This native custom was as follows: in order to celebrate the birthday of their diety Huitzilopochtli, the high priests placed an earthen pot filled with small “treasures” on a post of the temple and decorated it with colored feathers. Part of the ritual entailed that it be broken with a stick so that the treasures would fall at the feet of the god, as a special offering.
Today, piñatas are part of many types of celebrations and festivities. There are as many models as there are figures and characters. Nevertheless, what remains the same, is the excitement they inspire in the children; no matter how many centuries go by, everyone keeps striving to be the hero who manages to break the piñata!
Créditos de este texto:
¿Qué significa la piñata navideña?
¿Cuántas veces le has pegado a la piñata? Seguro era uno de los momentos que más esperabas de las posadas cuando eras niña y con los que incluso te diviertes más ahora que eres adulta.
Pero, ¿conoces su significado?
El origen de las piñatasLas piñatas surgieron en China, como una costumbre de Año Nuevo, y fueron traídas a México por los españoles, donde se incluyó como una tradición para las celebraciones católicas de la Navidad.
En la clásica piñata con forma de estrella, los picos simbolizan los siete pecados capitales (soberbia, avaricia, lujuria, ira, gula, envidia y pereza), por lo que romperla significa acabar con estos males, mientras que los dulces y la fruta que caen representan las bendiciones que la humanidad recibe por sus buenas acciones.
Tener los ojos vendados a la hora de pegarle es la prueba de la fe que el ser humano tiene para acabar con las cosas malas del mundo. Todos los demás apoyan con sus gritos, guiando a la persona para que logre romper la piñata.Hoy en día, rompemos las piñatas en Navidad para convivir y divertirnos.
Una piñata tradicional está hecha de un cántaro de barro, periódico y es adornada con papeles de colores. Sin embargo, actualmente ya existen de cartón o papel maché, por lo que es más difícil romperlas.