A cascarón (plural cascarones, without accent mark; from Spanish cascarón, "eggshell," the augmentative form of cáscara, "shell") is a hollowed-out chicken egg filled with confetti or small toys. Cascarones were said to be originally invented in Mexico in the mid-1800s by Emperor Maximilian’s wife, but this can not be true. An article about Christmas celebrations published in the Los Angeles Star newspaper on January 4, 1855, includes the sentence, "In the city cascarones commanded a premium, and many were complimented with them as a finishing touch to their head dress." Maximilian and Carlota did not arrive in Mexico until 1864, nine years later. It was in Mexico that the perfumed powder was replaced with confetti.
Cascarones are common through Mexico and are similar to the Easter eggs popular in many other countries. They are mostly used in Mexico during Carnival, but in US and Mexico border towns the cultures combined making them a popular Easter tradition.
Decorated, confetti-filled cascarones may be thrown or crushed over the recipient's head to shower him or her with confetti. In addition to Easter, cascarones have become popular for occasions including birthdays, Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, Dieciséis, Day of the Dead, and weddings (wedding cascarones can be filled with birdseed). Like many popular traditions in Mexico, cascarones are increasingly popular in the southwestern United States. For example, they are especially prominent during the two-week, city-wide festival of Fiesta in San Antonio, Texas. Cascarones are usually made during Easter time.
Having a cascarón broken over one's head is said to bring good luck; however, concerns over salmonella poisoning eroded support for the practice beginning in 2003.
In order to make cascarones, one can use a pin or knife to break a hole on the end of the egg and pour the egg out. The shell must then be cleaned out, decorated as desired, and let dry. After a cascarón is dried, it is usually filled with confetti or a small toy. One should then apply glue around the outside of the hole and cover with tissue paper.
- Hoyt, Dale. "Cascarones: Egging on Mexican fiestas : Mexico Culture & Arts". Mexconnect.com. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- "FRAGILE FOLKLORE. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 2009-04-12. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- Monica (2011-04-21). "A Brief History of Cascarones". Mommy Maestra. Retrieved 2014-03-01.