The Colorful History of the Cascaron Eggs

Colorful Cascaron confetti eggs

Latin Americans are no strangers to the magic of cascarones, a staple during Easter. Cascarones are an innocent way to play a prank on loved ones and bring some laughter to holiday festivities. They are confetti-filled eggshells decorated with bright colors and sometimes covered with tissue paper.

Getting ready for Easter weekend

Colorful Cascaron confetti eggs for Easter

To prepare for Easter weekend, families save the carefully hollowed-out eggshells from their morning breakfast a month or two in advance. These eggshells are then thoroughly cleaned and dyed in bright colors or left undyed before being filled with confetti and covered again with a thin layer of tissue paper or clear tape. Although the additional wrapping of tissue paper is less and lesson common for Latinos in the U.S.

But did you know the story of cascarones began in China?

eggs shells cascarones for Easter

Photo by Luisfi on Wikimedia Commons

After Marco Polo visited China in the 13th century, he found a version of the cascarones. Those colored eggs were filled with scented powders and they weren’t used for innocent pranks but instead given as gifts. He was delighted by the little discovery, so he shared it with the royal courts of Europe, and that’s how they made their way to Mexico in the mid-1800s through Emperor Maximilian’s wife Carlotta.

Cascarones in Mexico

Cascarones for Easter

Photo by David on Flickr

Once the cascarones arrived in Mexico, the eggs began to evolve. Instead of scented powder, they were filled with confetti. Their use changed as the Latin American sense of humor created its own tradition of cracking them over people’s heads. This inspired the name cascarones, which translates into “shell hits.”

Cascarones in the United States

Photo by Val H on Flickr

Eventually, the tradition of cascarones made its way to the United States with the large migration of Mexicans to border towns. You can see the cascarones for yourself in places like Texas, California, and the southwest states of New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. While they are used year-round in Latin American countries to celebrate birthdays and other festivities, the Mexican-American culture adopted the practice mainly at Easter festivities.

Leave no trace

warning post about leaving confetti paper behind after Easter picnic celebrations

Social media post by dinovalleysp

Cascarones are so popular in some states like Texas, they have issued warnings about leaving confetti paper behind after Easter picnic celebrations. Easter is a time for family, fun, and relaxation but also a time to be mindful of your footprint if you are going to participate in this festive tradition!

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