Approach anyone and inquire to that person where piñatas originated and the most probable thing that would pop into the head of that person and then blurt out to you is Mexico. Many people tend to associate the popular party game to that South American country. It’s most probably due to its pronunciation or spelling since it includes the letter ñ (pronounced as “en-ye”), which does not belong to the English alphabet. For your information, piñatas does not really traces its history or origin from the Mexicans; rather, go further to the continent of Europe and there, the Italians will proclaim that they are the one who are initially responsible for its existence. Originally spelled as “pignatta” which in Italian translates to “fragile pot”, piñatas commonly assumes the shape of a pineapple (in Italy, this fruit symbolizes hospitality) and are made of clay.
Breaking piñatas has become a widely embraced custom and has swiftly gained popularity that Italy cannot anymore claim exclusivity over the game. From Italian soil the game reaches the shores of Spain where the people love holding celebrations every month most especially religious-inspired ones. That is why it was not surprising if piñatas got closely associated with the Catholics’ annual, week-long Lenten Season held either on March or April. It was also when the Spaniards adapted the game that from its original pignatta term it got baptized to the present term, piñata; nevertheless, it is still made of clay pots (pots in Spain are called “olla”). Some people regarded the clay pot as too dull or too ordinary to look at that they started cutting pieces of paper shaped into various figures and pasting them on the sides of the pot to make it more presentable and attractive.
The Spaniards believed that the piñata symbolizes Satan. Since piñatas are attractive to look at, so appears Satan who likes to attract us by tempting us. The various candy bars and small toys placed inside the pot symbolizes the temptations prepared by Satan in order to lure us into following him. The blindfolded person who is tasked to hit the piñata symbolizes blind following or blind faith and the stick that will be used to break the piñata symbolizes the goodness that we have and that goodness will help us break free from the clutches of temptation, from the power of Satan. And once the bondage from temptation was finally broken (the piñata being hit and finally got broken), blessings or heavenly rewards (the candies and the toys) will pour out for that particular person.
Contemporary birthday party piñatas may no longer remind everyone especially those who are not residing in Spain, about the inspiring symbolical attributes of the said party accessory but children definitely enjoy themselves with it. Parents may think of an appropriate birthday theme for their child, and if by chance the natal day of the child falls on a holiday, then holiday theme party piñatas would likely to be included in the list of supplies-to-buy. Local shops abound with theme party piñata accessories such as toys and various items of interest that will definitely add much needed zest in any children’s party and will delight every kid who wants to participate in it. If the child is a big fan of cartoon characters then there must be plenty of character theme party piñatas.
You may fill in the piñatas with chocolate bars that come in personalized wrappers where the faces of famous cartoon characters are stamped or colored, non-toxic stickers attached to candy canes. And who says piñatas now only comes in the form of clay pots? Balloons and pull-out boxes are considered so why not use balloons shaped into the heads of cartoon figures and use pins instead of sticks? For the active child who is in to sports, then having sports theme party piñatas will certainly paint that lasting smile on the celebrator’s face. There are miniature toy balls (baseball, football, basketball, volleyball) and other sports accessories like sports ball key chains that can be placed in the piñatas in replacement of edible party favors. For pull-out boxes, packs of sports cards and sport figure cards can be used also. You could imagine a “downpour” of cards with so many little hands reaching for them. Lastly, animal theme birthday party piñatas are perfect for the kid who is currently keeping a real, live pet. This will teach the children early on the value of taking care of a pet. Small toy figures of animals made of plastics (so it will not hurt the children once they dropped off from the piñatas) are easily available in almost all toy stores in town.