Tuesday, May 4

Piñata Lesson 101

Here at Serenity, we’re never too old for a history lesson; and it’s always fun to find a reason to celebrate. Tomorrow is May 5, but sometimes it is better known in Spanish – Cinco de Mayo! For the festive occasion we decided to make typical Mexican pieces of art – piñatas.

Though they are famous in Mexico now, piñatas did not originate from this country. These interesting artworks were probably first made in China and then spread through Europe. Once they reached Spain they gained popularity and the people there used them to celebrate religious holidays such as Lent.

In the 16th century, Spanish missionaries attempted to use piñatas to convert Mayans to their religion. As it turned out, the Mayans had a similar tradition in which they would take clubs and sticks and break large feather-covered pots filled with trinkets. These pots were suspended by a string in front of an image of a god. When the pots would break the trinkets would fall to the feet of the gods as an offering. The two cultures mixed together to form the types of piñatas that are famous in Mexico today.

Now that we’ve had our history lesson, take a look at the piñatas we made today! We started by blowing up balloons and mixing together flour and water to make a paste. Once this was done we took strips of newspaper, dunked them in the paste and wrapped them around the balloon.

Once the whole balloon was covered and left to dry for an entire day, we finished by paining them festive colors. Take a look at these pictures to see all the fun we had! Pictured above is Arlene Tangen who is working diligently to make her piñata. To the right is Alice who is also hard at work!

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