As a child, one of my favorite Easter traditions was to make cascarones (decorated egg shells stuffed with confetti) for our large family Easter celebration. For those of you unfamiliar with this tradition, on Easter Sunday, the adults would hide the cascarones we had made and then my brothers, my many cousins, and I would go search for them. Next came the egg cracking free-for-all, where we would break our cascarones on each other’s heads, spilling confetti into our hair, onto our clothes, and over the ground. Even the adults would get in on the action, sometimes saving cascarones on the side rather than hiding them so they would have some to break.
What does all this have to do with the Resurrection? Aside from a suggestion that an unhatched egg symbolizes the new life that Jesus offers us through his death, the entire tradition is secular. However, because we participated in the eggshell saving, painting, and stuffing as children, we knew that the eggs did not come from the Easter Bunny, as the story usually goes.
As a mother, I continue this tradition of making cascarones with my children because it is one of the many ways we practice our Tejano Mexicano (Tex Mex) culture with our family. I wish that my children could have as many cousins as I did to share this experience with, but they enjoy it just as much regardless.
I do make sure that we decorate some of our cascarones with religious stickers and drawings, and I’m planning to include more drawings of resurrection symbols and to write resurrection messages this year. This helps my children recall that Easter is a celebration because Jesus sacrificed himself for us.
The cascarones in the picture below were made commercially; my mother brought some over this past weekend. When we decorate the ones we have been saving to paint, we’ll add some stickers to these.
Cascarones are easy to make, and there are several great tutorials already on the web. Basically, you crack only a small hole in the top of eggs you plan to cook (the egg scrambles itself on the way out, so be patient).
After washing the shells and letting them dry, they are ready to decorate with crayon resist. Use a white crayon to draw symbols or designs, or write messages. This is the step I refer to above, and you can also do this with boiled eggs that you plan to paint (after they have cooled off, of course). We also like to write the names of family members on some of the shells, so we know whose head to break them on.
Use an egg painting kit to color the cascarones. Get creative by dipping eggs half way into one color and then dipping the other side into another color. Try this horizontally and vertically. When they are dry, add stickers to some if you wish. Fill with confetti (as much or little as you like), place glue around the edges of the hole and cover with tissue paper.
I could not find good pictures of our cascarones from previous years, but will try to post some after we decorate this year. You still have time to make your own cascarones, if you can manage to eat eggs several times in the next few days.
It is time to announce two new link ups for the Liturgical Calendar Link up Party organized by Xhonané at Familia Cátolica. The Easter Link up is hosted by Lázaro at Aprendiendoa Vivir en Cristiano. The Liturgical Easter season lasts 50 days, so you will find many great ideas about celebrating at this link up in the weeks to come. I will post later about some of the cards we have made to send our Easter greetings.
The Divine Mercy Sunday Link up is hosted by Maria at En la Vía Singular de la Vida. Divine Mercy is the second Sunday of Easter, and I am thinking about a post based on this year’s gospel reading. Check back!
Since we always paint our cascarones during Holy Week, I have attached this post to the Holy Week Link up hosted by Monica at Equipping Catholic Families. I’m also attaching this to the Easter Link up hosted by Lázaro at Aprendiendoa Vivir en Cristiano (see the button above). Please go visit to see what other bloggers are sharing, or to attach your own post.
These link ups are part of the Liturgical CalendarLink up Party organized by Xhonané at Familia Católica.
Amanda at Impress Your Kids is hosting a Meaningful Easter Link up, where I have also attached my post. There, you can read her post and many others about how to focus on the Lamb and not the bunny.
And, I am connecting with the First Friday Link upfor April hosted by Lacy at Catholic Icing. You will find lots of ideas for celebrating the Easter season at this link up.