It was originally invented as a game for kids: a colourful doll made from a clay pod, and paper mache, and filled up with sweets is suspended from a rope and blind-folded kids are spun around and take turns hitting the doll with a stick until it finally breaks. Sweets fall out of it down onto the ground, and everyone hastily collects the prize.
Today the traditional game grew to be famous among adults, who enjoy its variations during Christmas and other festivities. Christmas piñata dolls featured during las Posadas has the form of a seven-pointed star and symbolises the luminary that appeared in the sky during the night of Nativity, so that three wise men could find the newborn baby Jesus. Colourful dolls also occur in a form of some popular cartoon characters or animals.