From Academic Kids

The piñata is a game in which a succession of blindfolded, stick-wielding children try to break a bright candy-and-toy-filled container (generally suspended on a rope from a tree branch or ceiling). It has been used for hundreds of years to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. Spanish colonizers are thought to have brought the piñata to Mexico, then the tradition went on to the Italians. According to legend, Marco Polo introduced the piñata to the Italians after discovering it in the Orient.

Piñata has come to mean the container itself. Piñatas are made from easily-breakable materials, such as straw, papier-mâché, or clay; traditionally they were made in the shape of human or animal figures (often a donkey) but, in recent times, vehicles, cartoon characters, or corporate mascots have gained in popularity.

The word was also used for the process whereby Nicaragua's former Sandinista leaders held on to property they had nationalized while in power. The successor government accepted these appropriations.

In Mexico, the piñata is traditionally shaped like a six-pointed star. It represents the devil; hitting it with the stick makes him let go of the good things he has taken hold of. While hitting the piñata the following rhyme is sung:

Dale, dale, dale,
No pierdas el tino
Porque si lo pierdes
pierdes el camino.
Ya le diste una,
ya le diste dos,
ya le diste tres
¡y tu tiempo se acabó!

which translates as:

Hit it, hit it, hit it
Don't lose your aim
Because if you lose it
You will lose your way.
You have hit it once
You have hit it twice
You have hit it thrice
And your time is over now!

An alternative to the second verse goes:

A que sí le das,
A que no le das,
A que tienes cara de conejo Blas
¡Una... dos... tres!

Which translated means,

Bet you can hit it,
Bet you can't,
Bet you have Blas bunny's face
One... two... three!es:Piñata



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