Children’s birthday parties can be so much fun. Some of the best memories of my childhood are from my birthday parties in my backyard with clowns and games. Having a pinata filled with candy was one of my favorite games to have at my parties. The moment someone struck the pinata with enough force to make the first crack and reveal a few pieces of candy was so exciting. We all knew it was only a matter of minutes before the entire pinata burst open and candy exploded everywhere. I’ll never forget my birthday parties in my backyard and can’t wait to have the same kind of magical parties for my kids.
One of these playful kids may be a little confused, however. This isn’t a pinata, this is a human dressed up in a dinosaur costume! Most of the kids lovingly approach the dinosaur, giving him hugs and petting him on the head. But there’s always that one in the crowd. One little boy armed with a toy sword is taking swings at the poor prehistoric creature. This isn’t a pinata, dude! None of his friends seem to stop him either as he continues to strike the dinosaur with a mischievous grin on his face. The gentler children continue to give the playful dinosaur high fives and hugs when all of the sudden, the troublemaker with the sword goes in for a forceful blow! When the knight in training goes for a blow to the head, the dinosaur is done putting up with the abuse. Time to take matters into his own hands. Using his size to his advantage, the angry tyrannosaurus charges at the little boy, and he goes running. The dinosaur charges after him and chases him all the way around the trampoline and toward the jungle gym. With his giant costume head teetering off, the dinosaur manages to keep his speed as he catches up with the little rascal who tried to slay him. The kids tactfully disperse and leave the dinosaur winded. Looks like the little troublemaker got away this time!
Let’s talk about pinatas for a moment. The word pinata originates from the Italian pignatta, meaning “fragile container.” In the book The Travel of Marco Polo, written by the Italian explorer Marco Polo, it is explained that pinatas are of Chinese origin and that they were originally used in New Chinese Year celebrations. Marco Polo, after discovering the pinata, decided to bring it to Italy where it was used for Catholic religious celebrations like “Festividades de Cuaresma”. The utilization of pinatas for Catholic celebrations was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards. Once in the country, they were used to honor the traditional Aztec gods and were made of vessels and clay empty sculptures. They were filled with grains or fruits and the contents that spilled out represented abundance. The Mexican religious missionaries used the tradition of the pinata for Evangelism purposes. They attributed a religious meaning to this object. The original pinata had seven tips, which represented the seven deadly sins: hubristic pride, greed, lust, malicious envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.
I bet this little boy learned his lesson about attacking people who are bigger than you and probably won’t do it again!
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