Piñata - Playa del Carmen ENJOY

Piñata tradition at Playa del Carmen Parties

Piñata tradition at Playa del Carmen Parties

In Mexico the piñata is present in our lives since we were little and consist of a game of hanging a certain distance from the ground a container, usually full of sweets, to break it with sticks with blindfolds.

¡Dale, dale dale!

When we say piñata, we imagine one shaped like a favorite character and a birthday party, but it has a background beyond …

Do you know its meaning? History Marco Polo narrates in his book “Il millione” (better known as Marco Polo’s Travels) than piñatas (Italian word “pignatta”) with Chinese origins, so he took her to Italy and used them for Lenten festivities.

From there he arrived in Spain and was brought to Mexico by the colonizers, although they claim that the Aztecs already made use of it to praise the god Huitzilopochtli.

It was at that moment that the friars introduced the piñata in the celebration. Meaning a piñata is traditionally star-shape.

The center is a clay pot and the spikes made of cardboard.

All this alined with colorful Chinese paper that is cut and curled to get a better finish.

Also, long strips are cut and hung on the peaks of the star. Its filling is traditionally peanuts, oranges, canes, and sweets. In Mexico, the piñata is an art and tradition.

It is precisely in December and within the framework of the Posadas when this historical tradition in Mexico is present.

The piñata, symbol of Mexican culture,

One of the most typical elements of the celebrations in Mexico are piñatas, an internationally recognized symbol of Mexican culture.

It would be difficult to imagine the Posadas without these colorful decorations initially made of clay, stuffed with seasonal fruits such as:

Tejocote, jicama, lime, sugar cane, tangerine, orange as well as peanuts and various varieties of sweets.

From the open chapels, built at the time of the conquest, this ceremony passed to the churches and from there to the houses.

Posadas represents genuine religious enthusiasm but also with waste and ostentation.

Currently, this tradition presents variants so that the posadas are different in each state, in each region or even in each home. 

There are essential elements for a traditional Mexican Posada are the following:

The birth, paper lanterns and ornaments, rockets, flares, candles, piñatas, music and of course, food and ponche.

A first is an act of contrition, after that an offer, from there the litany and the singing of the carols.

Those present divided into two groups and once the pilgrims and admitted and a convivial party begins that ends with the piñata.

Its meaning is the following:

Represents the devil, the peaks of the star to the seven deadly sins: 

Lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, anger, envy, and arrogance; its bright colors the temptation.

A line of participants that pass blindfolded and with a stick that means blind faith. When somebody brakes the piñata, full of candies, represent the victory against the devil, and everybody shares them gifts.

Then the filling falls, which means the good things win by defeating the devil.

The piñata today

Currently, the traditional design is a star, but all kind of designs from superheroes.

Even as public figures (former Presidents) or dolls and are present in kids birthday parties.

In Mexico is part of the fun and entertainment of any event. There are several outlets that sell Piñatas at 5th avenue and start your party.

The Piñata fillings are with confetti, balloons, candies, and toys. In the case of young people, they usually fill them with articles in the form of a joke.

In summary, the piñata represents the joy of those present.

Traditional Piñata Party! Playa del Carmen ENJOY

Traditional Piñata Party!

The piñata in the world

Mexico is a country rich in culture that is way in other countries know it and adopt some customs, and this tradition is no exception.

Today the piñata has become part of parties in the United States and Central America, especially when celebrating birthdays.

India is one of the few countries outside Mexico that has adopted this happy tradition.

Manufacture of piñatas

Traditionally they were made with a clay pot decorated, with bright materials and seven peaks were added to form a star. The manufacture of clay pots in Mexico is an ancient trade.

Currently, the production of clay pots is considered craftsmanship due to its rustic technique. The knowledge to make clay pots passed from generation to generation.

Nowadays the elaboration of these consists of pasting strips of newspaper with an adhesive called “engrudo” on the surface of an inflated balloon until forming a thick layer of paper that covers it completely.

Once the layer is dry, proceed to make a small perforation in the inside of the inflated balloon and pop it, this perforation made will work to fill the piñata. Finally, decorate with colored papers and add seven cardboard cones to form the traditional star.

What is engrudo?

Crafts that use paper or cardboard for their elaboration occupy paste due to their resistant adhesive properties. The preparation of this glue requires two simple ingredients, water, and flour.

The procedure for making this glue is easy, the first step is to pour the flour into a container and the second step is to gradually add the water and stir it until there is a kind of mixture without lumps of flour.

The third step is to heat the mixture to low heat so we will transfer it to a heat-resistant container such as a clay pot or aluminum. It is advisable to stir the mixture constantly to avoid burning and lumps. Once the mixture reaches its boiling point, we remove it from the heat and wait until it cools and is ready to be used.

Acolman, the cradle of piñatas in Mexico

This village located near the pyramids of Teotihuacán is full of tradition and history thanks to its colonial heritage.

With the arrival of the Augustinian friars in 1586 to the town of Acolman, the origin of the Christmas inns and the manufacture of piñatas in Mexico began. In the convent of San Agustín, the first piñata appears with the purpose of using it as an evangelizing instrument for the indigenous people.

At present, although this symbol of the inns, manufactured in various parts of Mexican territory, Acolman is proudly the cradle of these.

Celebration of the piñata

This festival, known as the piñata fair held from December 14 to 16 in the town of Acolman. The ceremony is full of folk dances and contests. Different communities participate in carrying their piñata. Those that have greater size and creativity awarded.

Because, the piñatas are the complement of the posadas, inside this celebration you can also enjoy them. Some other activities that you can enjoy are the pastorelas, musical presentations, gastronomic tastings, and the traditional horse race.

Mexican ritual of splitting the piñata

Splitting the piñata is one of the funniest traditions you can enjoy during the holiday season in Mexico. Throughout, the time this tradition underwent changes and each generation contributed a significant element as the different songs that are sung before, during and after having stuck to the piñata or complications such as climbing the piñata higher than you can reach so that it is harder to hit.

Turn

The moment a person passes the piñata, his eyes covered with a bandana, and they spin around. The purpose of this is that the person loses a sense of direction, and therefore, it is more difficult for him to hit the piñata.

It used to be thirty-three turns because it was associated with the number of years that Jesus lived.

Blindfold

Mexican people know that the act of blindfolding represents the blind faith that is towards God. However, it is also a fun way to increase the challenge. From that moment, the blindfolded person should identify the voices that will tell him where the piñata is. It is common for others to try to help or give false clues. It depends on who is bandaged to follow the clues or ignore them.

Once blindfolded and given the turns, the person receives the stick to be guided and touch the piñata with the tip of this. The purpose of this is that the blinded have a notion of what direction the club should throw.

It is also customary that, from a high space, someone holds one end of the loop that holds the piñata. This individual moves it in different directions so that it is much more difficult to hit him. This is usually a good strategy for the piñata to last longer.

Many times, the person’s turn ends, and he does not manage to hit him any time.

Songs

The songs are a symbol of joy and happiness for celebrating this tradition, and it is a reality that without them breaking the piñata would not be the same.

I do not want gold; I do not want money. I want to break the piñata. This is the first song heard during the celebration. It is customary to sing it while people are forming or between turns.

Give it, give it, give it. Leaving aside the traditional song of birthdays, this song is the best known in Mexico. Although to date its origin is unknown, it is unacceptable not to sing it.

It is customary that while singing, the rhythm and speed of the song is adjusted. This happens when someone hits you very hard or when you discover that you are cheating. Some cheats usually take off the bandage at the end of the song to give a good blow to the piñata.

That boy/girl is very fool / looks like his dad/mom. This song is a way of mocking who couldn’t give a hit during his turn. The end is to have a good time but without hurting any person.

Punch, classic drink of the Posadas

Although this delicious fruit drink is essential to celebrate the posadas, it is not the only custom in Mexico; it is also in different parts of the world.

The origin comes from India, so its original name is pãc, which means five. Due to the number of ingredients that initially made it: palm wine brandy, sugar, lemon, water, and tea. Later it was introduced in England and was given the name of punch.

Its elaboration will change depending on the country or region. The sujeonggwan is a Korean punch prepared with dried persimmons, ginger, and cinnamon while the Glühwein prepared with red wine, orange, sugar, grated rind of lemon and cinnamon.

In Mexico, there are different ways to prepare this sweet drink. However, the most common ingredients are piloncillo, guava, apple, tamarind, Jamaica, tejocote, sugar cane, and cinnamon.

All the ingredients boil in a large pot of clay or aluminum. Then served in earthenware jugs with their corresponding portion of fruit and in some places, they usually add the so-called piquete, a small amount of whiskey, tequila, brandy, rum, vodka or some typical drink like charanda or mezcal.

Colacion, the sweet of Mexican Christmas

When the expected time for everyone arrives and the piñata has been broken, a rain of small round and colorful shapes falls among the seasonal fruit that is called collation, its yellow, green, pink, blue and white colors together with its smooth or scratchy textures and it’s filling with orange, cinnamon, almond or peanut make it the ideal candy.

This classic

                                                Holiday classic consists of corn starch and refined sugar. During December it is widespread to find this sweet in the sites that sell what is necessary to celebrate the Posadas. Outside of these dates, it is likely found in candy markets, especially in the artisan sweets section. The name of this candy is very popular in the Mexican culture and seven mentioned in one of the traditional songs of the posadas: “Anda María, come out of the corner with the basket of Colacion.”

Christmas box

The holiday season is the most anticipated and preferred season for Mexicans, during which important religious events commemorated, family moments are shared, and good wishes are made to start a new year. Within that same environment is the Christmas box, which is given to children during the celebration of the inns and symbolized with a bag of cellophane containing fruit and sweets.

The word bonus derived from eguinad, a term of Celtic origin that was used to call the gift granted at the end of the year as a sign of good wishes for the new period.

The concept of bonus referring to the posadas arose during the empire of Romulo, the first king of Rome. His employees gave him branches from a fruit tree belonging to the forest of strenia, divinity of health and luck. As a sign of good luck to start the year. This rapid act became a tradition, and every year, the so-called strena distributed in the representation of good omens.

Over time this custom was changing, and instead of giving fruit branches began to give gifts with a higher value as gold, jewelry, and clothing. However, conclude that it was not necessary to present presents with such a high cost. So the Christmas bonus was replaced by fruit and sweets, which are now offered during the Christmas celebrations and not the first day of the year.

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