Copyright (c) 2011 maud Business Solutions Ltd
It is a rare kid’s party venue that won’t allow delights like piñatas along with the gifts and cake at birthday celebrations and they make an exciting treat for children of any age.
Despite the common association of piñatas with Mexico, the initially religious tradition actually originated in China for the Chinese New Year celebrations; it travelled to Europe during the 14th century where it was adapted for celebrating the Christian Lent (when the person with the stick was blindfolded to represent faith and the turning represents the disorientation that temptation – the treasures within the pot – create ) and eventually arrived in Mexico two centuries later via the Spanish.
The name piñata is assumed to be formed from the Italian word for ‘fragile pot,’ which is, ‘pignatta.’ In previous eras, artisans have made a year around income based entirely on the design and creation of piñatas of traditional clay. Current generations have replaced the clay with papier mache to avoid broken pieces of pot falling on and harming kids.
While the religious significance has been mostly lost, the ceremony that occurs with it has remained mostly intact. Piñatas are nowadays most popular at kid’s birthday parties. Each kid gets a turn to hit the piñata with either a real or blow up stick. Before attempting to hit it, the kid is blindfolded and then spun a number of times. There is a time limit to each of the kid’s attempts, usually timed by the other participants chanting a short verse or holding hands in a ring around the hitter and turning a full circle before the hitter has to stop.
Few kid’s party venues are averse to piñatas and some will be happy to provide their own so it is worth asking the question. If the venue is unable to provide one, but is able to suggest a suitable place to hang one then either purchase a ready-made and filled piñata, buy an empty one to fill yourself to ensure suitable presents for your youngsters are contained inside…or go the whole hog and make your own. They are suprisingly easy and fun to make – get your child to help with the making and decorating, then fill it in secret so that the contents are a surprise on his or her birthday.
Here are some easy to follow instructions explaining how to make a simple Pinata for your kid’s birthday party.
Ingredients: 2 cups flour – 3 cups water – 1 balloon – newspaper – string – paint/ crayons/ markers/ decorations such as crepe paper, googly eyes and glitter – small pinata treasures such as lollies
Method: Put 2 cups of flour and 3 cups of water into a large saucepan, stir together adding more water if necessary for a creamy consistency and bring to the boil. Turn the heat right down and simmer gently for 1 minute before removing from the heat and leaving to cool. Whilst the mixture is cooling, remove 2 pages then tear a newspaper into strips. Strips about 1 inch by 6 inches are easiest to use. Blow up a round balloon and tie a knot in the end. Use a marker pen to draw a circle on the side big enough for the largest of the piñata treats to fit through. Place your inflated balloon on the double layer of newspaper that has not been torn to strips. When your flour mixture is cool dip a strip of newspaper into the saucepan, running your fingers down the strip to remove excess mixture. Lay the mixture soaked strip onto the balloon, (making sure you don’t cover the marker pen circle) smoothing over to remove air bubbles. Repeat until the balloon is covered in a layer of newspaper strips and leave to dry. When it is dry, add another newspaper layer and again leave it to dry. When dry add another layer. Three layers will suffice, but more can be added for older and therefore stronger children if desired. When all desired newspaper layers have been added and are completely dries, pop the balloon through the circle left clear of paper at the top. Use a skewer to puncture 2 additional small holes in the top near the opening and feed a very long length of string through them so that the piñata can be suspended in the air. Your treat is ready to be decorated and filled with treasures!
One final tip – Don’t forget to withhold a few piñata treats to take along separately to the party. Then you’ll have something to give out to any guest who comes up empty handed at the end of the game. There is always one!
By maxlkt from Pixabay