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Definition of Piñata

It comes from the Italian word “pignatta” whose meaning is fragile pot. It refers to a container made of different materials with candies, sweets and toys inside. The purpose of it is that people who are in a celebration hit it until they break it to take its content.

The most common or classic form of piñatas is the one with seven peaks because each one has a meaning, they represent the deadly sins. Their colors symbolize the temptations of life and their generally sweet contents are the rewards of heaven. Also the blindfold and the stick symbolize something, for example, the blindfold is the blind faith in God and the stick the strength with which man fights against the deadly sins.

Nowadays, these meanings have lost their value, piñatas are used in Christmas parties and birthday celebrations, generally for children with different shapes, sizes and designs. The structure is currently made of cardboard, has different decorations and is lined with papier-mâché.


The word “piñata” has no other names, although the following words may be synonyms:

● Puchero

● Vessel

● Vessel

● Earthenware pot and.

● Cardboard figure.


The accepted origin is China, due to the story of Marco Polo, in his journey through that country he could see how they beat animal figures in the New Year celebrations. He took the tradition to Italy and then the Spaniards used this instrument for evangelization in the New World.

Likewise, there are indications that in Mexico the Mayas had the custom of breaking clay vessels decorated with feathers and ribbons, which contained cocoa. While the Mexica had a tradition of filling pots with treasures and jewels and breaking them in the celebrations in honor of the god Huitzilopochtli.


Nowadays, piñatas are associated with children’s birthday parties with figures of Disney characters or children’s movies.