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The world’s largest pinata was 94 feet long, 24 feet wide, and 60 feet high. It was so big that it had to be opened up by a wrecking ball! Pinatas have been used for tradition, culture, and celebration, throughout time. Pinatas started out as just clay pots that were painted with symbols and colors. As the custom spread throughout the world, it evolved into many different kinds. Making pinatas is a fun and easy craft which comes out with a product that can be used for many different purposes.
Pinata making has been around for many many decades. It didn’t start out as paper mache animals filled with candy as society knows them for today.
The origin of the pinata is thought to be in Asia over 700 years ago. It first spread to Spain where the custom turned into a holiday. The Spanish used a pot for the celebration and it was not first painted until later(‘History of the Pinata’).
The thought first sprouted from the explorer, writer, and merchant, Marco Polo. Marco Polo started out by decorating pots with animals such as cows and oxen. “Polo likely brought the idea to Italy, where by the 14th century it was associated with the celebration of Lent, and acquired the Italian name ‘pignatta’ or ‘fragile pot’”(‘Pinata[Object]’). “The first Sunday became ‘Pinata Sunday’… Originally, pinatas fashioned without a bad resembled clay containers used for carrying water”(‘History of the Pinata’). Another story many believe is Polo found figures of animals that were wrapped with color and filled with seeds in China.
He gathered these pots and burned them for spiritual reasons.
The ashes would be gathered up for good luck Every step had to be followed precisely. Polo had a great influence on the history of the pinata. Once the custom spread to Spain, the Spanish adopted a tradition called “The Dance of the Pinata” (“Pinata[Object]”). During the holiday, Spaniards decorated clay pots with paper and tinsel to cover the whole pot. The Mandarins did something quite similar to Polo’s customs. They took these types of pinatas and used them to celebrate the new year(White). Inside the pinata were candies and treats that everyone wanted(“Pinata[Object]”). They represented the pleasures of life(“Pinata[Object]”). The person holding the stick represented faith, and when the treats were spilled out, hope was awarded “The Spanish missionaries were quick to transform the pinata game into a religious practice”(White). “The Mayans, great lovers of sport, also played a game where the players eyes were covered while hitting a clay pot suspended by string” (‘History of the Pinata’). Everything related to the pinata custom has meaning. The stick that was used to hit the pinata symbolize love. When the prized spilled out it symbolized the forgiveness of sins. “
Catholic missionaries employed the colorful pinata custom to teach Christian religion, A traditional Mexican shape for pinatas is a spherical shape with seven conical points symbolizing the seven deadly sins- greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath and lust” (‘Pinata[Object]’). In current time, pinatas are not used as much spiritually and religiously. They are mainly used for entertainment purposes. In Mexico however, it stays popular during the Holiday “Las Posadas”(White). The pinata has a rich history and goes back many centuries. The easier of the two ways of making a pinata is with a balloon. The balloon design is more simple and restricts the shapes to a small few. The first step to making a pinata is inflating the balloon that is being used as the main frame or base of the pinata. The balloon can be put into a round shape by wrapping it with tape(Stewart). This helps force the balloon to stay in its circular shape and not be flexible(Stewart). It gives the balloon the hard texture so it feels like a pinata is actually being hit instead of a balloon being hit. The next main step to get started is making the mix.
The best formula for making the mix is wheat paste powder stirred with four and a half cups of water(Stewart). “Use construction paper to make some details…cut away the excess fringe along the outline of the pinata” (Pinata Cardboard). The outcome will be a circular shaped pinata with colors and decorations of the creators choice. The more complex of the two is the cardboard pinata. Having it made out of cardboard opens up the option of making it into many shapes and sizes. “Decide on the shape of your pinata…draw the outline of your shape on one of your large pieces of cardboard. It’s useful to look on the internet for a picture of the shape you want to make to help you in the drawing” (Remming). “Flip your cut out shape over on top of the other piece of large cardboard, trace it, and cut it out” (Remming). Once the outsides are cut out, the inside needs to be built to give the pinata space on the inside. Toilet paper rolls placed on the inside of the pinata will help give it space on the inside (Remming). Pinatas need to be decorative and interesting to look at. Colored paper strips about three inches long and a half inch wide are good ways to make the pinata pop out.
On the pinata is four fringes which represent each strip. To increase size, layers of these paper strips help give it depth(Stewart). It will look much better once it is enlarged. In all pinatas, there needs to be candy and treats inside to give an incentive to crack open the juicy surprise. Trap doors are put on the pinata to make it much easier to store the candy and treats inside. Two vertical cuts about three inches apart are needed to make the door. The pinata then needs holes put in the top so it has somewhere to hang from(Stewart). Pinatas are mainly used the best outdoors. This gives a sufficient amount of room for the kids playing and gives the swinger enough room(‘Mexican Pinatas’). Traditionally, the player is blindfolded and spun around a couple of times to make it more challenging so safety precautions need to be taken (Stewart). Adult supervision is recommended to help keep children safely away from the person swinging. A blanket underneath the pinata is a great way to help the participants find the candy once it had spilled out. Another recommendation solely for the pinata game is keeping an extra bag of candy just in case one of the participants did not get their fair share of treats(‘Mexican Pinatas’).
The most important part of the game is making it fair for everyone. For the two types of pinatas, the amount of materials add up fast. Some are more necessary than others. For the balloon pinata, the most necessary material include; a fourteen-inch balloon, cloth tape, scissors, newspaper, wheat paste powder, and a spray mount(Stewart). For the cardboard pinata a compass, glue, tissue paper, rotary cutters, self-healing mat, a knife, wires, and streamers(Stewart). For both pinatas, candy and small toys are great fillers. The pinata has, and still is, being used for many purposes throughout the world. Religion and culture is a big part of each and every country. Countries use pinatas to help celebrate for what they believe in. The pinata is used in many different ways and is a big part in holidays and festivities. Without the pinata, many would have to find an alternative for how they celebrate. Pinata making can also be a fun and easy craft the whole family can enjoy.
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