A pinata is a hanging animal-shaped container, full of candy, that blindfolded party guests take turns hitting with a stick. When a pinata finally breaks open, everyone rushes to grab as many treats as they can.
Most pinatas are made of papier-mâché, though historically there have also been pottery and cloth pinatas. The Mexican Spanish source, piñata, means "jug or pot," and the earliest Mexican and Aztec pinatas were clay pots full of fruit and sweets. The tradition can be traced back to ancient China, and after that to fourteenth century Spanish celebrations of Lent. Today in Mexico, hitting a pinata is a common part of Christmas celebrations.