Christian Churches of God

No. 276




The Piñata

(Edition 1.0 19990313-19990313)


A practice has entered the Church of God in the USA from Mexico. The practice relates in fact to the ancient pagan systems and has no place in the Church of God.




Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA




(Copyright ©  1999 Wade Cox)


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The Piñata


The practice of breaking a Piñata at children’s parties has entered the Church via the Churches of the United States of America from traditions in Mexico.


It can only be assumed that the people indulging in the practice, or teaching their children to indulge in this practice, are unaware of its origin. If they are aware of the origins and persist they are not to be considered as part of the Church of God and are to be dealt with by their local congregation in accordance with the constitution.


The Practice

The practice consists of a container of various shapes in the form of a ball or bon-bon in effect. The bon-bon is actually another European form of this practice. Both stem from the same concepts. The original shape was the six pointed star which is a symbol of witchcraft and has been adopted by Judaism.


The container may have numbers representing well known characters or football stars, often or preferably deceased.


The object is broken as part of the party ceremonial and the sweets or objects of delicacy are then spilled out on the table and divided or shared among the participants.


The objects are usually regarded as desirable delicacies for either children or adults. The Piñata is often used to identify the person in the party or the object of the celebration with the person who is on the Piñata. This is a sort of psychological dedication as it were.


The origins and symbolism of this practice are actually quite horrifying.


Origins and Symbolism of the Practice

The origins actually go back into the pre-Christian mystery and Sun cults and human sacrifice.


The container represents the person and it is held to contain the deeds and goodness that the person has accrued in his or her lifetime. The psychological preparation of the populace for human sacrifice is actually quite insidious. The film the Highlander series takes this concept and glamorises it.


The idea behind the practice actually strikes at the concept of the Holy Spirit being given as a free gift to all men. The logic behind it is inherently anti-Christian. It is part of the steady stream of subtle and not so subtle anti-Christian propaganda that has emanated from Hollywood over the last twenty years (cf. the paper The Other Side of Starwars (No. 181)).


The effigy, or container which serves as an effigy, represents the head of the individual or the object, or place of residence of the soul. This idea was the central idea of the ancient Hatti or Kalti or the Celts to us. They believed that the head was the repose of the soul and the soul was reincarnated and the goodness and debts of the individual could be passed on in the next life.


The breaking of the container symbolised the sacrifice of the individual and the spilling of the life force out on the ground.


This force was the container of the goodness, wealth or merit that the being had accumulated in his or her lifetime. Often it was the image of successful and wealthy people. The object was often the demons and the communication was with the spirits of the dead. It is directly necromancy and demon communication in an idealised form.


Modern apologists still freely admit the symbolism of what it is they do, but disguise it in lesser forms or symbols.


In her article on the subject A Piñata Tradition, Wendy Devlin does not comprehend the significance of the custom she seems to eulogise but nevertheless admits:

It is in Mexico that the breaking of a piñata

accompanies almost every festive occasion. I was attracted to the making and breaking of piñatas before I ever traveled to Mexico But it took experiences there to bring home to me that I was but a latecomer to a wonderful and unique tradition.


The original, traditional shape of the piñata is the six pointed star although nowadays many other forms are in use: animals, plants, flowers, devils etc. The clay pot or olla de barro that goes inside has the purpose of harboring fruit and candies or small toys. At fiesta time, a piñata is suspended from above while blindfolded children try to hit it with a stick. The children around it sing:


Dale, dale, dale,

No perdas el tino

Porque so lo perdes

pierdes el camino.


Hit it, hit it, hit it,

Don't lose your aim.

'cause if you lose it

you'll lose your way!


One tradition holds that the meaning of the piñata is: you go around with your eyes covered, trying to find the good things in life and working hard to get them. Another one holds that the piñata symbolizes the devil: you have to hit him hard to make him let go of all of the good things that he has stolen.


As I began to incorporate this tradition into our life, I discovered that the magic and the fun of the piñata was instantly importable from the Mexico culture to mine. I found that the inclusion of a piñata into any party involving children turned that event into a memorable fiesta! As clay pots are not readily available, I turned to the easy incorporation of papier-maché over a balloon. Then several days later, when the mache had dried, the piñata could be decorated with either paint of colorful crepe paper. At first the piñatas mirrored the round shape of the balloon: eggs, faces, pumpkins etc. Gradually bits of cardboard were added to the basic shape to lend ears, legs and wings to flying pigs or fins and tails for tropical fish…. A piñata could be created with each particular child in mind. It was around this time, that I took my second trip to Mexico with the whole family.


Many places that I visited had piñatas -of every size and kind imaginable! The imagination and creativity of the Mexican creators appeared to know no boundary! With my children, we entered our first "piñata" store'. It was a fantasyland! Piñatas hung from everywhere and every kind of candy in bags lined the shelves. These shelves stretched from floor to ceiling. The kid's eyes bugged from their faces!


We had driven from our coastal town in B.C. nearly down the entire west coast of mainland Mexico during a 3 month travelling journey. We had experienced much that draws people to visit this wonderful country. But I had yet to see a piñata being made. Then one day, the family that ran a small beachside palapa restaurant at Zipolite, a sea-side village located in the south-west state of Oaxaca below the modern-resort of Huatulco, were starting to hang large pieces of card-board from the ceiling of their little restaurant.


Our family was relaxing, enjoying the company of an amiable batch of international travellers and Mexican neighbours. Several people joined in to cut and tie and paste that card-board form. Slowly "she" emerged over the afternoon: a life-size beautiful Mexican mermaid. However, she was soon to meet the intended fate of all piñatas: to be filled with goodies and dashed to bits! Just before Easter, it is common for papier-maché Judases to be loaded with fireworks and then blown up amid shouts of delight. And so the piñatas like the Judases, have their fulfillment at the moment of their destruction.


Now, at home, I make long necked swans and calico cats with top hats and tails, wicked witches or jolly santas…or what ever the occasion seems to suggest. I look forward to visiting Mexico again and sharing with those kind and generous people, their piñata tradition. And if you ever go to Mexico, bring a piñata home with you to delight someone that you know and turn that next party into a fiesta!


Navigation & Mexico Connect E-Mail


© Mexico Connect 1996-1998


Notice here that any particular child is to be identified with the Piñata. This is derived directly from child sacrifice under the Golden Calf system and the star of the God Remphan (cf. the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).


The idea is that by the death of Piñata the goodness flows to the earth and results in rebirth. This stems from the ritual beatings in the Christmas and Easter traditions and the elements of human sacrifice associated with it (cf. the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). The seeds of goodness come forth in rebirth.


The so-called star of David is actually the six pointed star of the god Remphan associated with the worship of the cultic system of Baal and Ashtoreth or Moloch or Milcom. It represents death and blood and fertility through human sacrifice. The symbol entered Judaism via Kabbalistic traditions and is now associated with biblical Judaism when nothing could be further from the truth.


The ritual involved with the cultic rites of Demeter and the Christmas traditions will show at a glance where the basic structure of this ritual evolves. It is directly concerned with human sacrifice and especially child sacrifice. It is in its early incipient stage in our society waiting to be awoken.


The symbol of the mermaid is very ancient. It relates to the worship of the Goddess Ishtar or Astarte in the form common in Syria. The mermaid form was as the goddess Derketo worshipped at Askelon. The details of the system have been examined in the paper Purification and Circumcision (No 251).


The modern religious system of the Sun cults even uses the name Easter in the worship of the system and keeps the festival and the statues of the goddess and the god. Tertullian says that Atargatis was the goddess of the Syrians. Macrobius says they called the Sun Hadad and the earth Atargatis. Hence ben Hadad means son of the Sun. The Talmud calls her Tar’atha. In Armenia she is Tharatha. She is simply the form of the Semitic goddess Ishatar-’Athtar or simply in the ancient Anglo Saxon Easter. Strabo and Hesychius both identify her with Athara and the Delos inscriptions call her Aphrodite (ERE ibid). Askelon, Karnaim and Delos were long devoted to Astarte. Known as Derketo at Askelon her lower half was a fish. This seems to be the origin of the mermaid. Lucian does not identify the Syrian deity at Hieropolis with the deity at Askelon seemingly on the grounds that the deity at Hieropolis had perfect human form and he called her Hera but admits that she may be identified with Rhea. There is little doubt they are one and the same deity. Fish was not eaten by the followers of both Atargatis and Astarte and the sex rites identify both goddess as the one and the same deity. The deity was distinguished by the locality and thus was locally distinctive in the minds of the common people just as she was as Ishtar in Assyria at both Nineveh and Arbela. The native name of Hierapolis is Mabog and means spring in the native Aramaic (cf. ERE ibid). Thus the association with water and springs also.


From 2 Maccabees 12:26 Judas Maccabeus went against the Temple of Atergatis at Karnion in 164 BCE and killed 25,000 people. Paton concludes from the text in 1 Maccabees 5:43 that the cult of Atargatis flourished not only in Hieropolis and Askalon but also in Bashan. Inscriptions between Damascus and Banias at Kefr Hauwar indicates a temple was there and also a number of inscriptions at Delos, dating from shortly before the Christian era, identify her with Hadad and also identify her as Aphrodite (cf. ERE, vol. 2., p. 166). Thus she is the consort of Hadad, the sun, or Baal. As Rhea she castrated Attis who is also identified with her.


Paton also notes that Ovid writing in 17 CE tells how Dercetis was changed into a fish in Palestine. Germanicus, in 19 CE, calls her the Syrian goddess Derceto and Atargatis and adds the new information that she was changed into a fish at Bambyce the Greek name for Hieropolis. Strabo writing in 24 CE says

Artargate (or Artagate in some MSS) the Syrians call Arthara, but Ctesias calls her Derketo. Here Atargatis is identified with ‘Athar (= Athtar, Ashtart, Astarte), in the same manner with which she is identified with Aphrodite in the Delos inscriptions (ERE ibid.).


Cornutis (ca. 68 CE) records that fish and doves were sacred to Atargatis goddess of the Syrians. This is doubtless the real origin of the fish symbol in Rome in the first century. Christians would never have made an object that was an idol worshipped in Palestine for centuries before and during the time of Christ the symbol of their faith. Pliny in 79 CE says that Ceto is worshipped at Joppa. Both Pliny and Strabo state the skeleton of a sea monster was displayed at Joppa. Ceto is perhaps to be regarded as the truncated form of Derceto but Paton says this is uncertain (ERE ibid.). Pliny identifies Atargatis as Derceto and says that she was worshipped at Hieropolis or Bambyce or Mabog. Plutarch says there was a pond of sacred fish at Hieropolis and says that this goddess worshipped there is identified with Aphrodite and Hera or the goddess who produces out of moisture the seeds of all things. (ERE ibid.). The most extensive account was given by Lucian writing ca 200 CE, and as an eye witness, being himself a Syrian. As we have noted he prefers to identify her as Hera but Paton says there is no doubt we are dealing with Atargatis (ERE ibid). Thus the cult of Atargatis, Ishtar, or Astarte, Ashtaroth or Easter is the basis of the rites condemned in the Bible involving these various aspects. The purification aspects involve the removal from this system of worship. It dates back to the system of the Golden Calf under various names (cf. the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222); (Purification and Circumcision (No. 251)).


We thus see that the goddess contains the seeds of goodness and the effigy is thus struck to release the seeds. How this practice got to Mexico is as mysterious as the mystery cults themselves. It is nevertheless part of the ancient Babylonian Mystery cults and associated with the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth under the various local names.


No person in the Churches of God is to knowingly engage in this practice.


[Note on the etymology of piñata: The term seems to derive from a composite term involving two words pino (Latin Pinus) and ata. One cannot help but draw the conclusion that this word is actually the pina ‘ate or the Pine of Attis hence we are actually dealing with the object of sacrifice of the god Attis (cf. The Cross (No. 039)). Thus the devotees hang things from this pine and beat them or sacrifice them to the god and as the god which may take female form as it appears as the goddess being castrated and dressed in female form.]