Home LifestyleArt and Culture Dale, dale, dale’: Why do people break piñatas during Christmas posadas?

Dale, dale, dale’: Why do people break piñatas during Christmas posadas?

by Yucatan Times
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Christmas posadas begin this Friday, December 16, and with it, some families get together to have a good time, eat typical Mexican snacks, drink punch and break the traditional piñatas.

The tradition of breaking the piñata arrived in Mexico in 1586 (16th century), when the Augustinian friars of Acolman de Nezahualcóyotl, in what is now the state of Mexico, near the archaeological site of Teotihuacán, received authorization from Pope Sixtus V to celebrate the so-called “aguinaldo masses”, which would later become what we know today as posadas.

What does it represent to break the piñata?

The original piñata consists of a clay pot, to which different colors of Chinese paper were added to make it more colorful and represent superficial pleasures.

Tradition says that the piñata should be shaped like a star with seven peaks that symbolize the deadly sins and should be destroyed blindfolded (alluding to the fact that faith is blind), with the help of a stick, which demonstrates virtue by putting an end to temptations.

The sweets, candies and fruit -tejocotes, reeds, jicamas- found inside the piñata represent the riches of the kingdom of heaven, therefore the teaching that was accompanied with faith and a single virtue, could overcome sin and receive all the rewards of heaven, says the Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service of the Government of Mexico.

And speaking of piñatas, what do posadas mean?

In actuality, posadas refer to the pilgrimage that Mary (the Virgin) and Joseph made to get to Bethlehem, nine days before the birth of Jesus, according to the Catholic religion.

During the journey, Mary and Joseph looked for a place to stay and spend the night, which gives origin to the term “pedir posada” (shelter).

The Christmas posadas begin every December 16 and the last one is celebrated on December 24, prior to the day of Jesus’ birth.

TYT Newsroom

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