by unique1 6 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • unique1

    My mother asked me to assist in a party she is throwing for the young girls in the congregation. (She probably figures it will "strenghten me" seing as how I don't go in service or to meetings hardly any more.) I was buying a pinata, which both my mother and the young girl giving the party thought was cool, and another witness at Wallyworld, saw it and said witnesses weren't supposed to use pinatas because of an ancient ritual. In the ritual the candy represented life blood. I looked up the origin on the web and it said nothing about blood. It supposedly represented money in one place and luck in another place and christians tried to put a faith spin on it, but nothing about blood. To me it seems the same as pin the tail on the donkey a game I played at many witness gatherings when I was a child. Anybody know anything about this? I had never heard of Pinata's being a no no.

  • free will
    free will

    i always assumed there might be something 'wrong' with it. but didn't care to look it up. the head honchos could find a reason not to go on a hayride if they wanted to. i know an elder though, who had one for his son's party. egg hunt too! it was a friendly kid gathering.

  • unique1

    Really? An egg hunt? and he wasn't banished? Wow, that is impressive. Can't do that stuff around here. Somebody impersonated Elvis at a party here one time and got in trouble.

  • blondie

    Here is an Awake article on the pinata. Personally, I think they are really reaching on this one. Catholics use candles in their religious services but candles are not forbidden in JW homes (though there could be some with "strict" consciences). It could be that the pinata has more significance in Hispanic cultures than in non-hispanic culture. I had 3 pinatas decorating my bedroom during the years I was a regular pioneer. No one ever said anything.

    6/22/71 Awake pages 23-4 The Piñata and Its Use

    By "Awake!" correspondent in Mexico

    "HIT it, hit it, hit it! To the right! Lower! Now higher!"

    What’s happening? Why so much shouting by children and adults? Why so much excitement?

    As we approach the group, we see two men from two adjacent roofs holding a cord from which an object that looks like a three-pointed star is suspended. "What is that?" we ask.

    "It’s a piñata," the children shout.

    A number of blindfolded children have taken turns in trying to break the piñata with a stick. But the men have prevented it by pulling the cord to move the piñata away. Finally, a blindfolded boy strikes the piñata a tremendous blow. It breaks open, and its contents spill onto the floor. There are all kinds of fruit, pieces of sugarcane, oranges, peanuts, tejocotes (a sloe-like fruit), and so forth.

    The children scramble to see how much each one can pick up. After a few minutes nothing is left on the floor except broken pottery and scraps of crepe paper. The cones, which had given the piñata the appearance of a three-pointed star, are taken by the children as trophies.

    Our curiosity is aroused. We want to know more about the piñata. What is its origin? Why is it used in Mexico and other Latin-American countries? Is there any significance to breaking it?



    The origin of piñatas is not definitely known. But it is believed that the famous Venetian traveler Marco Polo brought them from the Orient to his native city in Italy. Later, in Spain, their use became a part of religious celebrations. Following the Spanish conquest in the western hemisphere they were introduced in Mexico. The materials used to make piñatas are a clay pot, crepe paper, a little glue and cardboard to give form to the figure.

    Catholic teachers employed piñatas in giving the Indian natives religious instruction. They were used, for instance, in connection with Lent, which is observed from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. Even today they are used in some places. On the day before Easter a piñata figure of Judas Iscariot is broken, scattering candies that children scamper to pick up.


    also came to be used in connection with Christmas. A modern writer notes: "Indians were very fond of theatrical representations in the development of rituals. The friars started to put on theatrical representations in connection with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ." Breaking the piñata came to be the final part of such a theatrical representation.

    It was around the year 1587 C.E. that an Augustinian friar by the name of Diego de Doria received authorization from the Pope to hold Masses during nine days before Christmas. The tradition was taught to the natives that before the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary searched for nine days to find lodging. The Bible, however, does not say this. It is just a man-made tradition.

    The Posada was the celebration introduced to teach this tradition. It enacted the supposed nine-day search of Mary and Joseph. A young man and young woman were chosen to represent Joseph and Mary. It became the custom to form a group that would sing and pray as they went around pretending to look for lodging. People would gather in church for this theatrical representation.

    Later, the celebration was also carried on in the homes of the people, who organized their own Posada. With the passing of time, clay, plaster of Paris and wooden figures of Joseph and Mary were substituted for human representations of them. It became the custom for two children to lead the procession carrying the figures of Joseph and Mary.

    Families in Mexico look forward to the Posada on each of the nine nights before Christmas day. Children leading the procession go from room to room, being refused admittance until they come to the room where a nacimiento or nativity scene has been constructed with a miniature well-adorned stable. Here they are admitted and they place the figures of Joseph and Mary in the stable. It is not until the last night of the Posada that a figure representing the babe Jesus is placed there.

    The celebration comes to its end with the breaking of the piñata. These piñatas may have many different forms—ships, clowns, devils, three-pointed stars, rabbits, radishes, watermelons, and so forth. Nowadays the host may invite everyone into his courtyard. There blindfolded persons take turns in trying to strike the piñata, which may be suspended by a cord from the porch roof or a branch of a tree.

    Catholic teachers have placed great significance on the use of the piñata in this religious celebration. They have taught that the piñata represents the Devil or a bad spirit. The fact that the person who tries to break the piñata has his eyes covered indicates that he should have blind faith that will overcome the Devil. The articles that are put in the piñata represent the temptations that man has during his life. And breaking the piñata means that he has gained eternal life.



    Nowadays the Posada in Mexico features disorder, drunkenness and criminal activity. The celebrations are used as an excuse for wild and immoral living. Persons frequently are killed, and others are robbed and injured. Police are kept extra busy during these celebrations.

    One is reminded by the Posada of the early mid-December Roman festival of the Saturnalia. The fact is that encyclopedias say that this pagan festival provided the model for many merrymaking customs of Christmas, of which Posada and the use of the piñata are closely linked.

    Today, however, many give little thought to the religious aspects of Posada and the breaking of the piñata. All some businessmen know about it is that selling piñatas is profitable. They may sell for as much as sixteen dollars or so apiece, and during Posada celebrations their cost goes up. Piñatas today are also used extensively for entertainment at social occasions, such as children’s parties and birthday celebrations.

    But even though the use of the piñata is quite popular in some places, there are those who have serious misgivings about the false religious practices connected with it.

  • blondie

    There is always some killjoy in the group. I can remember having costume parties at times other than Halloween and Mardi Gras. We had a good time and no one went overboard. But just because a few dressed in a way that offended a few, everyone was forbidden to have costume parties. That would be like saying because a few people committed adultery, that marriage was forbidden.

    *** w92 8/15 19 Social Entertainment-Enjoy the Benefits, Avoid the Snares ***

    Fine oversight of a social gathering includes its planning and preparation. This does not require devising a catchy theme to make it unique or memorable but which would imitate worldly parties, such as costume balls or masquerade parties. Can you imagine faithful Israelites in the Promised Land planning a party where all were to dress like pagans in Egypt or another land? (Of course the Law proscribed how the Israelites would dress. If women wear slacks during casual events, are they dressing like pagans?)

    *** w83 10/15 22 Reject Worldly Desires! ***

    Sadly, however, not all those claiming to love Jehovah have always honored him and given clear evidence that they have rejected worldly desires or ways. It is reported that certain dedicated Christian men attended a masquerade party dressed as women. Could such behavior be considered unworldly or an honor to Jehovah? Surely, actions of that kind are not what we would expect of those who are "no part of the world." (John 15:19) Why, under most circumstances a man wearing a woman’s wig and clothing would not only appear effeminate but also open the way to propositions for unnatural sex use by other men!—Deuteronomy 22:5.
  • unique1

    Thanks Blondie, I will use that if anyone says anything, because it doesn't say it is forbidden, just to be careful with it.

    I remember that article about the crossdressing. Funny thing is we had just returned from a cruise (with alot of witnesses) and they had a ladies clothing scavenger hunt in which you had to find a dress, shoes, purse, ect. and dress the man in the group up. Several elders were dressed like ladies, it was hilarious!!!!

  • undercover
    a cruise (with alot of witnesses) and they had a ladies clothing scavenger hunt in which you had to find a dress, shoes, purse, ect. and dress the man in the group up. Several elders were dressed like ladies, it was hilarious!!!!

    Sounds like your group had a good time enjoying that activity on the ship. But according to the WTS these men that were dressed up like this have not only brought shame upon themselves, they have brought shame upon the organization(hence God). I bet you didn't think of that during your fun activity did you?

    Somebody used the word "kiljoy". How appropriate. The WTS sees people having innocent fun and somehow they have to ruin it. Can't let people have fun, they might realize that going door to door isn't so much fun. Kids don't care about the origin of the pinata. Hell, nobody really knows the origin. But since it was used somewhere, sometime, somehow in a religioius observance, it's wrong. It's like throwing the baby out with the bath water. The baby's dirty, the water's dirty, let's just get rid of both em. No more dirtyness.

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