Silver Bells? In Mexico, Breaking Pinatas Herald the Christmas Season
Whitney Eulich - The Christian Science Monitor
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December 17, 2015

Joshua Cruz stands in front of his pinata stall at a market in Mexico City. His family has been making pinatas for four generations, and he first started learning the craft when he was 5 years old. Christmas is one of his busiest seasons. (Whitney Eulich)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Mexico, but for Joshua Cruz, it’s not the parking lots full of pine trees or carols blasting from cafe speakers that put him in the holiday spirit.

“It’s not really Christmas time until I’m surrounded by hundreds of [star] piñatas,” says the third-generation piñata-maker, who is training his 17-year-old son to one day take the helm of the family business.

Mr. Cruz's stall, at an expansive market in central Mexico City, is enveloped by crepe-paper and hand-painted creations that he and his son construct. Passersby can’t avoid being tickled by streamers hanging from the tips of iconic seven-pointed star piñatas – some smaller than a shoebox, others bigger than a car.

The piñata may have originated in China, traveling to Italy, Spain, and eventually Mexico via conquistadors, but it’s an object deeply embedded in Mexican culture. The colorful party prop has transformed over the centuries from a Spanish tool for conversion to Christianity into a central part of birthday and other celebrations. But it still holds a special place in Christmas festivities.

Read the rest at The Christian Science Monitor

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