For the longest time, I really wasn’t sure exactly what this day celebrated. I remembered learning that it wasn’t the Mexican Independence Day, but what it actually was didn’t quite stick. Much like any other Americanized celebration, this one centered around food and booze. But, even better? Cinco de Mayo, more often than not, came with a piñata.
Nothing says “let’s party!” like beating open something resembling an animal, in hopes of getting candy (and, apparently, other goodies).
Wait, what? Yeah, I know. That sounded a little funny to me, too. So I did a little research. Via Wiki, por supuesto:
- There are many hypotheses regarding the origins of piñatas and few reliable sources to confirm or dismiss them. There is no evidence that the olla or piñata existed in Spain prior to the conquest of Mexico, nor did the piñata appear anywhere else in Spain’s Latin America colonies until some time later.
- In the Mexican Catholic celebration of Christmas, the piñata is traditionally shaped like a seven-pointed star which represents the devil and the seven deadly sins, while the contents are the goods or blessings he is withholding. Striking the devil with faith, symbolized by being blindfolded, releases the blessings. Piñatas are also used at Fiestas.
So, if I understand this correctly, aside from Christmas, there’s no confirmed explanation of what the piñata stands for? I can make up my own meaning at any *other* fiesta? The opportunities are endless! I’m almost overwhelmed.
Our office opted to have a Cinco de Mayo party today; I suggested having a piñata (duh). With this new knowledge, I think the most appropriate shape would be a printer. Because who hasn’t wanted to do this at one point or another?
The piñata then represents a common enemy (helpful in office team building/cohesion) and provides an outlet to vent frustrations (good for mental health). And the candy…well, the candy could represent the release of all the paper jams that you’ve ever experienced.
Or it could just be candy, ’cause god knows you need a sugar rush every now and then to get through the work day.
Now I’m really hoping that they took my piñata suggestion. Or, at the very least, that someone spikes the virgin margaritas.