On April 18th National Piñata Day is celebrated in Latin America and Mexico. Piñatas are a large part of Latin culture.
Piñatas have been used as a form of entertainment at birthday parties or any special occasion all across Latin American countries. Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about piñatas.
Mexicans have Christmas piñatas
In Mexico, it is a Christmas tradition to have a piñata. It is a part of the celebration known as posadas which is celebrated from December 16th until December 24th. An article written by
Alejandra Marquez Janse and Justine Kenin explain the tradition saying, “ The shape of the piñata used in these festivities is significant. In that seven-point star, each pointed cone represents one of the deadly sins – pride, envy, lust, gluttony, anger, greed and sloth. And the act of breaking the piñata has meaning, too. It’s to break with the deadly sins in order to be able to receive Jesus in a more purified state,”
In Cuba you don’t break the pinatas. The most exciting part of a piñata is breaking it to get to the candy/prizes that are inside. Well, from my experience breaking the piñata can sometimes take a while especially if you’re at a kids birthday party and even after everyone takes a turn hitting it, the piñata still won’t break. In Cuba, you don’t break the piñatas with a bat or a stick. Instead, kids pull on ribbons at the bottom of the piñata and wait for the candy to fall out.
In Guatemala piñatas are stuffed with fireworks instead of candy
Another interesting tradition that some Latin American countries have regarding piñatas is La quema del diablo (The Burning of The Devil). In Guatemala, this tradition parallels the one in Mexico because although it takes place during the holiday season. It is for burning away evil spirits and the piñatas are filled with fireworks instead of candy.
I’d recommend participating in this day of celebration because it doesn’t matter if you’re five years old or forty-five years old. Everyone loves the rush of adrenaline that comes after hitting a piñata open and getting to the surprise inside.