Because I love burritos that much!
El Burrito probably takes the cake for the amount of free events they host surrounding Mexican culture, and recently they hosted a piñata making class.
But it didn’t just stop at piñata making – we also learned a bit about their history.
Piñatas originated in China before travelling to Italy and Spain before Spanish missionaries introduced them to Mexico in the 15th century. Coincidentally the Aztecs and Mayans had similar tradition of breaking a piñata-like structure made with a clay pot and decorated with colourful feathers.
Ironically, piñatas were once used as a representation of man against temptation by Christians in a bid to change the piñata’s original meanings. (Daniel from El Burrito calls this “expert marketing” because it caused the target audience to forget their roots and adopt a new belief.) These piñatas typically had seven points to represent the seven deadly sins and people were spun 33 times (representing the age of Christ) before attacking the treat-filled contraption, and the treats inside represented the rewards of keeping the faith.
Today Mexicans break piñatas during Christmas and the posadas (the nine days leading up to Christmas, and today is the first day of the posadas this year!) and on children’s birthdays. The length of time one has to hit the piñata is timed by a traditional song and some of the piñatas at these celebrations are traps filled with flour or water. Luckily bags of sweets are reserved for the younger, smaller party guests so children never leave empty-handed.
Also, the clay pot design the Mayans used is now considered dangerous so piñatas are now made out of papier-mâché.