The Piñata has its roots in Italy. Legend says that Roman soldiers would hang clay pots and try to hit the pots with their swords while blindfolded. This game spread to Spain where it became a Lenten tradition.
Mexico’s first documented piñata was hung up in Acolman in the 16th century. The monks of the Acolman church were looking for a way to Christianize the December festival celebrating the birth of the Aztec god, Huitzlipochtli. The monks held a festival from December 16 to December 24, 1587. During this festival a piñata was hung.
Original piñatas were clay pots covered with papier-mâché and ribbons. These piñatas had seven paper spikes symbolizing the seven cardinal sins.
Because of the tradition of the piñata started in Acolman, the town became a major manufacturer of piñatas. But piñata making is disappearing in Acolman; there are now only two workshops that produce piñatas.
“Piñata-making fading in town where it was born.” Tucson Citizen. February 11, 2005. Page B9.