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Pinatas Are More Ancient Than You Think

Written by Jose Agudelo

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Anyone watching a show of pinata whacking can speculate about the origin of such a curious tradition. Many people think that the history of the pinata cannot trace back to more than a hundred years, given the modern designs that get produced everyday. But this cannot be further from the truth. In actuality, the first pinata ever made in Mexico comes from Acolman, a town just north of Mexico city more than 400 years ago. Surprising, I know.

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The Pinata Fair, a family event that draws more than 300 000 visitors is going to take place in this city. This event is taking place since more than 30 years ago. But those years are nothing compared with the antiquity of the pinata itself. Spanish monks are though to be the ones that created the design that is used today in most parties (the one with 7 spikes) in the convent of San Agustin, located in Acolman, in 1587.


Today it is a common feature at parties where it is destroyed completely by blindfolded children (and of late also adults) with sticks in order to get the delicious prices inside. The person with the stick is supposed to represent faith, and the whacking of the pinata is a symbol of the struggle of good against evil.

Based on an article by



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Jose Agudelo