History and Meaning of The Mexican Piñata

In Architecture & Design by Isabella Moreno

The Ex-Convento de Acolman is the town where the manufacturing of piñatas began. It is a tradition that today is very common and is part of the life of all Mexicans from children’s parties to Christmas celebrations. But originally, where do piñatas come from?

The story tells that they started in Italy, where they were called “pots” and they gave them to the workers in December for having done a good job. This tradition was followed in Spain, where “breaking the pot” become a tradition every Sunday. After the conquest this tradition was brought to New Spain (Mexico). Up until this point there is no record that the pots had been decorated.

It was to be expected that in Mexico the color and folklore of the piñatas would begin as they are now known. It was in the State of Mexico, at the Ex-Convento de Acolman where more than 400 years ago, the first piñata with color and decorations was created and designed. The most classic ones are in the shape of a star or flowers. Nowadays, countless shapes, characters, fruits, objects and so on have been created. Imagination has no limits when it comes to creation and design in Mexico. They have been inspiration for different artists and designers around the world to create bags, illustrations and different fashion and home objects.

From December 13-21 you can visit Acolman to witness the dances and competitions of the surrounding villages for the largest and most original piñata.

An important fact is to understand that the piñatas symbolize sin and that is why you should break them with sticks with your eyes blindfolded.

orar y ser parte de la tradición en las Posadas Navideñas. Un dato curioso es que las piñatas simbolizan el pecado y es por eso que hay que romperlo con un palo y con los ojos vendados. Por estas hermosas y coloridas tradiciones es que México llena de alegría y emoción a sus habitantes y a todos los extranjeros que no tardan en enamorarse de este gran país.

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