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Cinco de Mayo And International Pinatas

Colorful Hispanic type pinata.

Colorful Hispanic type pinata.

A World Of Pinatas

Pinatas are very popular in Mexico and other Hispanic countries, while history tells us that the original pinata may well have been made in China, along with spaghetti and gunpowder, paper and fireworks, the printing press and many other inventions and gadgets.

India likely has had their own type of pinatas or "breaking bowls" full of treats, just as have the Italians and other Europeans. Its a global celebration of treats.

Looking through material in Chinese history, we find also that pinatas were made in Japan,m Korea and other countries in the East and Southeast Asia. Many countries have used pinatas and it may well be that all of these countries came up with the idea independently - just as the automobile and the airplane were invented both in American and Europe about the same time.

Party stores in the USA sell them ready made, with an opening for filling each pinata with goodies and party favors. They come in traditional Hispanic themed shapes, images and colors, as well as favorite licensed cartoon characters and superheroes. Despite all of the ready made goodness, it is also fun to make a pinata.

My first grade teacher taught us how to make pinatas by blowing up a balloon, covering it with papier mache, letting it dry, painting it, and popping the balloon through a small opening we had left in one end. We added ribbons and cutouts, making horses with ribbon manes, lions, fish, dinosaurs, and all kinds of creatures.

I believe one of the boys made a truck or a fire engine. What fun! We could then fill our unique papier mache pinatas with whatever we wished, or hang them up at home. As i remember, we hung them in the classroom for the rest of the month and took them home and never broke them. They were beautiful.

In Mexico

Cone-shapes pinatas for sale.

Cone-shapes pinatas for sale.

How to Make A Korean Pinata In Seven Steps

Since I know about several Korean traditions, I will share the instructions for making a traditional type of Korean Pinata used at all kinds of parties and celebrations.

This type of pinata is always spherical in shape and about the size of a large beach ball - the kind you throw around over the heads of the crowd at rock concerts you are attending. Traditionally, the pinatas are not filled with treats, but special banners with significant messages printed on them. These would be messages wishing someone a happy birthday or anniversary, etc. However, they can indeed be filled with treats as well.

The traditional Korean pinatas are used outdoors in a type of game. There can be two pinatas, one for each of two teams. The members of each team throw small bags of sand and rice at the pinatas to break then and release the message. The team that opens their pinata with these thrown bags wins a predetermined prize, decided before the party. Some of the most fun is before the breaking - a pile of pouches is uncovered and a designated person form each team flies forward and grabs as many as possible. It's almost a contact sport.


  1. Go to a department store and purchase a large, strong plastic beach-ball type ball that will hold its shape well. Nothing flimsy will do.
  2. Take it home and cut it in half.
  3. Next, fill the halves of the ball with candy, party favors, coins, some dollar bills, and one very special prize of your choosing. Kdis and adults will all pile on top of one another to get at the big prize. Make it something bright and shiny to attract attention!
  4. Tape the ball together again with strong tape.
  5. Spray paint the ball and/or decorate it with cutouts, decals, ribbons, or whatever you have handy and hang it outside from a tree branch or from your basketball hoop.
  6. Make some small bags of rice by using uncooked rice and sewing it into cloth pouches about 4" square that you can quickly hand sew. Or, buy some toy bean bags at the store. Kids can also throw tennis balls at the pinata, but a stick is not used on the Korean pinata.
  7. For fun, put a big banner with a special message on it inside the pinata and hang the banner up at the party after the pinata is broken.

Have fun with your Korean Pinata!

Korean Students Make Pinatas

Korean Children Play a Mass Pinata Game

Pinata Connection

  • Korean Games
    The Contemporary culture of South Korea retains the traditions of games that people of all ages have enjoyed historically. These games help to make the culture of South Korea unique in the Far East.
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Famous Landmarks near Seoul.

Changdeokgung Palace.

Changdeokgung Palace.

Traditional First Birthday Celebration in Korea

On the baby's first birthday, he or she is presented with a row of objects on a table (see video below). The object the baby selects is said to represent that child's passion in life.

The baby in this video finally selected a book, when it was placed on the table.

Traditional Korean 1st Birthday

Skating rink in Seoul City Hall Plaza; released into public domain by user: Zepelin

Skating rink in Seoul City Hall Plaza; released into public domain by user: Zepelin

At the West Gate of Seoul, 1904.

At the West Gate of Seoul, 1904.


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on May 05, 2014:

May 5th - Korea has its own brand of pinatas for celebrations.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 17, 2008:

Thanks very much, xteethx. It's a great photo! Thanks for the link to your Blog as well - looks very interesting.

xteethx on November 16, 2008:

heh funny to see my pic here. glad i could be of use

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on April 29, 2008:

Thanks for eveyone's visit! I'm sure the rating will increase over time. Thanks Hozok!

Whitney from Georgia on April 29, 2008:

That little girl in the video is so cute!

Hazok from Malaysia on April 28, 2008:

Great. thanks. The rating is too low. I have read worst article with much higher rating!

donnaleemason from North Dakota, USA on April 28, 2008:

Thank you Patty.


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