National Piñata Day is observed on April 18 each year. No one on this planet doesn’t love candy. You don’t have to stop at just one sweet; instead, go ahead and shatter a colorful candy container known as a piñata to get as much candy as possible. Your birthday party and other celebrations would not have been as successful without the colorfully designed piñata containers. Those who haven’t yet attempted to open a paper-mâché donkey may do so on this National Piñata Day.
History of National Piñata Day
The origins of the piñata may be traced back to the 13th century. The Chinese created piñatas for their New Year festivities to bring good fortune to the growing season. They were usually fashioned like cows or oxen and ornamented with vivid colors and ribbons and were brimming with seeds. The Chinese burned the remnants of the piñata and stored the ashes for good luck after it was shattered.
Marco Polo returned to Europe from his expeditions in Asia with several piñatas. They gained popularity during Lent in the 14th century. Piata Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent. The piñata was introduced to Mexico by Europeans in the 16th century. Mesoamerica, interestingly, had quite a similar custom. They stuffed god-shaped clay pots with beads, beautiful stones, nuts, and fruit. The pots were broken open with sticks. The Mayan practice was similar to the present piñata tradition in that the person struck the piñata while blindfolded. Huitzilopochtli’s birthday was celebrated in Aztec culture. Priests would use multicolored feathers to adorn a clay pot. When the pot was cracked with a stick or club, the valuables within would fall as a gift to the idol’s feet.
In 1586, the piñata was first used for evangelization in Acolman, in the present state of Mexico. Piñatas have also grown in popularity among Mexican-Americans, other Hispanic and Latino groups in the United States, and non-Hispanics. They’re popular at birthday parties, Christmas, and Cinco de Mayo festivities. Amy Watkins was the first to suggest enjoying piñatas as a Christmas tradition. Watkins said on her blog, ‘Cozy Reverie,’ in March 2016 that she couldn’t believe this holiday tradition didn’t already exist. Watkins transformed National Piñata Day from a notion into an actual event with the support of some pals!
National Piñata Day timeline
The Chinese create piñatas for their New Year festivities to bring good fortune to the growing season.
Marco Polo returns to Europe from his expeditions in Asia with several piñatas, which become popular during the period of Lent.
The piñata is first used for evangelization in Acolman, in the present state of Mexico.
Watkins suggests enjoying piñatas as a Christmas tradition through her blog ‘Cozy Reverie,’ which later forms the basis for National Piñata Day!
National Piñata Day FAQs
What do the colors on a piñata represent?
The traditional piñata’s brilliant hue is thought to symbolize worldly temptations.
How did the piñata get its name?
The term is derived from the Italian word ‘pignatta,’ which refers to a typical clay pot.
What is the English word for piñata?
The term has no direct English equivalent, but it signifies “a decorated container packed with candy, fruits, and presents.”
National Piñata Day Activities
Whack a piñata
Finding a local provider of piñatas, stuffing it with fun prizes, putting it up, and whacking it is all it takes to celebrate National Piñata Day! Even better, you can make your own out of paper mâché.
Read up on the history of piñata
Research the history of the piñata on the internet. It is a great way to better understand this fun holiday and what it stands for.
Share on social media
Create awareness by posting on social media. Use the hashtag #pinataday.
5 Interesting Facts About Piñatas
Some countries use them for birthdays
Piñatas are customarily only used at kids' birthday parties in Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, and a few other Latin American countries.
Piñatas can be used for pranks
As a prank, some piñatas are actually traps filled with confetti, flour, or water!
The piñata is used in Guatemalan protests
In Guatemala, they make piñatas in the shape of a rat to protest corruption!
They are used to make political statements
Piñatas are often used to make a political commentary in Mexico, such as unpopular politicians being made into piñatas so that their opponents can hit and break them.
Nobody knows the exact origin of Piñatas
The exact origins of the piñata are unknown, but this Mexican and Spanish custom continues to bring joy to people's lives.
Why We Love National Piñata Day
They are filled with goodies
Piñatas are often filled with candy and other presents. We all love a good treat.
They come in all shapes and sizes
Piñatas can be molded in any shape or size. Another reason to love them!
They are fun at parties
The act of blindfolding your friend before he tries to whack the piñatas is lots of fun at parties. Give it a try next time!
National Piñata Day dates