From its likely origins in China and subsequent travels through Italy and Spain and finally to Mexico and the United States, the piñata tradition has remained basically the same: a candy-filled container that is broken by a blindfolded player. Marco Polo, on his twelfth-century visit to China, is said to have encountered the custom of breaking a figure of an animal as part of the New Year’s celebration. The tradition eventually spread to Italy and Spain, where it was laden with new meaning: as part of Lenten festivities, the piñata came to symbolize the battle between good and evil. Breaking it open with a decorated stick, participants were rewarded with candies for having vanquished evil and temptation. In Spain, el baile de la piñata, celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent, continued the tradition as blindfolded participants struck a clay pot filled with candy until it broke.