Pinatas as you would imagine have a colourful and interesting history. Although they are traditionally thought of as a Spanish festival decoration, the Chinese can also claim them as their own.The Chinese Pinata was fashioned into the shape of an ox or cow, filled with 5 types of seeds and hit with coloured sticks. Once the seeds had spilled out, the pinata was burned and the ashes were kept for good luck in the hope that the following year would have good weather for their crops.
The pinata arrived in Spain from China in the 14th century and was used to celebrate Lent. During this period they celebrated the Dance of the Pinata which involved a plain clay pot decorated with coloured paper, streamers and ribbons. Other nationalities around the world have a history of their own version of the pinata but to us in Ireland it is the Spanish pinata that has captured our imagination.
As the years have passed the traditions have evolved and grown and today paper pinatas are a firm fixture at kids parties. Filled with sweets and toys and with decorated sticks to hit them with a new tradition has begun. Instead of pin the tail on the donkey we now blindfold our children and let them loose with a big stick and a determination to make us proud.
This, of course can present a few problems at a crowded party full of excitable children so for the more cautious there is a new breed of pinatas called the pull pinata. This type has been designed with many colourful strings hanging underneath it. Only one of these strings will open the hatch door to let the goodies fall out. The others will break off the pinata when pulled. The pull pinata is ideal for younger children who don’t have the strength or coordination to hit the pinata effectively, although they are usually very effective at hitting their friends!
Pinatas are inexpensive to buy and add a huge amount of fun to a party so they are well worth investing in. For those with time on their hands (I know, I know, you’re a mother, what am I saying!) you could always make one yourself. All it takes is some cardboard, masking tape, coloured crepe paper and a bit of artisitic flair and you could find yourself with a very rewarding project on your hands. Although how you will feel when you watch your little ones doing their best to destroy your fabulous creation might require a little more self control than usual!
Checkout our huge range of colourful pinatas Here