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Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Home » casa + cultura

Posadas and Pinatas

Submitted by on December 16, 2010 – 1:00 am5 Comments

By Sylvia Martinez

Every year, from December 16th to the 24th, México celebrates Las Posadas.

Las Posadas are a beautiful Catholic tradition. Families and friends gather together every day for 9 days, pray the rosary together, sing together while walking with the Peregrinos (Joseph, Mary, and the Donkey), eat together, and finish by hitting a piñata.

That’s right, long before piñatas were used for birthday parties, they were a essential part of the Posada and had a religious meaning.

The original shape of the Piñata was a star with 7 cones, each cone representing one of the 7 deadly sins: greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath, and lust. Hitting it with eyes covered symbolized Faith and the stick used to hit it symbolized the Virtue.

Today, in most cases piñatas have lost this religious meaning and they are widely used as symbols of fun and happiness at birthday parties. Just ask a child!!

There are a lot of traditional songs we sing while we hit a piñata, I will share two with you. You can see the video of me singing them (yes, I was brave enough to sing on camera) so you can learn the melody. Here are the lyrics:

Dale, dale, dale,
no pierdas el tino
porque si lo pierdes
pierdes el camino.

Y si no le das,
ni un palo te empino
porque tienes cara
de puro pepino.

Second version

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 acabo,
¡se acabo!

Feliz Navidades!

Sylvia Martinez, a Mexico native who now lives in Southern California, publishes the site, Mama Latina Tips.

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