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A piñata (Spanish pronunciation: [pi'ɲata]) is a papier-mâché or other type of container that is decorated, filled with toys and or candy and then broken as part of a ceremony or celebration. Piñatas are most commonly associated with Mexico, but its origins are considered to be in China. The idea of breaking a container filled with treats came to Europe in the 14th century, where the name, from the Italian “pignatta” was introduced. The Spanish brought the European tradition to Mexico, although there were similar traditions in Mesoamerica. The Aztecs had a similar tradition to honor the birthday of the god Huitzilopochtli in mid December. According to local records, the Mexican piñata tradition began in the town of Acolman, just north of Mexico City, where piñatas were introduced for catechism purposes as well as the co-opt the Huitzilopochtli ceremony. Today, the piñata is still part of Mexican culture, the cultures of other countries in Latin America, as well as the United States, but it has mostly lost its religious character.