Monday, March 24, 2008

West Meade "cascarones" party not the only Easter egg-cracking in town

Mexican-American, Greek Orthodox, Ukranian traditions

1,500 egg shells

The Tennessean posted this article describing a handful of egg-cracking Easter traditions on display in Nashville. A West Meade Palm Sunday party featured Mexican-American cascarones, or egg shells filled with confetti. More than 150 people cracked over 1,500 egg shells. From pictures of cascarones parties in other places (here and here), it looks like fun.

From the Tennessean:
As a little girl, Mona Tehle remembers making cascarones — confetti eggs — by hand every year with her family. Tehle, who is Mexican-American, grew up in Corpus Christi in South Texas.
Cascarones are made from standard chicken eggs; a hole is poked in one side and they're emptied and washed out. Once dry, the shells are filled with confetti. The hole is covered with a slip of tissue paper and glue and the outside, decorated. The process takes several days.

"On Easter, we'd get together with all our relatives and friends somewhere, have a big barbeque and run around and crack them on each other's heads — and your parents' heads, that's the big thing," said Tehle, who is married and has two sons ages 9 and 10.

In 2001, while living in Dallas, she decided to resurrect the practice as a way of sharing her heritage's Easter traditions with her sons. She continued the annual Easter fiesta when they moved to Nashville in 2004.

What started out as a small backyard get-together has since become a big West Meade neighborhood bash. On Palm Sunday, one week before Easter, Tehle's family welcomed 150 guests. There were two piƱatas for the kids, margaritas for the adults and Mexican food for everyone. For the grand finale, Tehle had 1,500 cascarones trucked in from Texas for some grand egg cracking.

"I think people enjoy it because it's a real family event," she said. " . . . There's something for adults, and something for the kids. It's a unique event."
According to the Tennessean, other egg-cracking traditions in Nashville include the Greek Orthodox Church's tapping of red eggs together to see whose will break, with the greeting, "Christ is risen" and the response, "Truly, he is risen." And at St. Mary's Book Store and Church Supply on West End, there is an annual demonstration of the Ukranian egg-cracking game with hardboiled eggs.

Photo by Jessica Wilson. Licensed under Creative Commons.

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