Tradition and History of Piñata Party Game

Piñatas have been used for hundreds of years in Latin America to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. Although the tradition has died down in Europe, it is very strong in all Latin America where all kids parties have piñatas. Furthermore, in the last 50 years, it has crossed over to North America, where now the word “pinata” is a household word and the custom is getting entrenched here.

The exact origin of the piñata party game is disputed, but many agree it originated in Europe in ancient times. Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece have all claimed its origin. Legend has it that it started simply as a painted clay pot decorated with colorful paper and filled with candy treats and coins. Even today, many party-goers in central and southern Mexico are still using the clay pot as opposed to the paper Mache piñata North Americans are used to.

The traditional star-shaped piñata design was a part of early Christmas "posadas" representing the Star of Bethlehem that guided worshippers in their search for refuge. A "posada" is a popular Hispanic celebration during the Christmas season.

The tradition spread to the New World and flourished. Artisans created animal and other piñata designs to delight children at festivities and provide an entertaining activity for young and old party-goers alike. Although breaking a piñata at children's parties is very much a tradition among Hispanics, the fun game has spread throughout the entire United States since the 1960’s. It has replaced the game of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” as the party game of choice. Our  design is for toddlers and for folks sensitive to any display of aggressive play.

There are many creative ideas for using a piñata, such as for a birthday party, a holiday celebration, or just as a toy. Today, piñatas are not only popular for use as kids birthday party games, but they also serve as festive party decorations, centerpieces and many other interesting uses.

 
 
 
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