- Title: Pinatas 'bring happiness' to Mexican families at Christmas
- Date: 19th December 2019
- Summary: GOLD PINATA
- Embargoed: 2nd January 2020 23:45
- Keywords: Christmas Mexican Mexico families holiday parties pinata posada tradition
- Location: MEXICO CITY & ACOLMAN, MEXICO
- City: MEXICO CITY & ACOLMAN, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Human Interest / Brights / Odd News,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAN8X1F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Mexicans of all ages celebrate their heritage and reap tasty rewards by smashing open traditional Christmas pinatas during the holiday season.
The colourful pinatas are made from clay shells or cardboard covered with paper cones stuck on with glue. Once the cones are dry, they are covered in colourful papier mache. Many of the pinatas used at community celebrations known as "posadas" are made at pinata workshops located around Mexico City.
Pinatas are broken during Mexican posadas, small get-togethers to commemorate Mary and Joseph's search for shelter on Christmas Eve before the birth of Jesus Christ. The smashing of the pinata at these festivities is highly symbolic; the breaking symbolises man's struggle to fight temptation and his wish to eliminate evil.
For many, the pinata itself represents Satan. When it is broken by a stick, symbolising virtue, fruit, nuts or candy fall to the ground, reminiscent of grace and God's reward for choosing the right path. Sometimes the person hitting the pinata is blindfolded as a reminder of the person's faith in God's will.
The origin of the pinata is unclear. Some say that it was found by Marco Polo on his travels to China and brought to Europe. It was then introduced to Mexico during the Spanish Conquest.
Others say that the tradition stems back to Aztec times, where a clay pot was painted with the face Tlaloc, the God of Water. The pot was filled with water and broken to symbolise a thunder storm and the downpour of rain.
Regardless of its origin, the pinata eventually took on religious symbolism and has been a mainstay of Mexican celebrations for generations.
(Production: Josue Gonzalez, Manuel Carrillo)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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