If you are one of those fussy people who don’t like getting eggs smashed on your head, you’d best stay clear of the Jardin Principal in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico on the weekend before Ash Wednesday.
A pre-Lenten tradition, ‘Dia de los Cascarones’ is San Miguel de Allende’s version of Carnaval. The main plaza (the one right in front of the massive pink Cathedral) fills up with vendors selling a variety of Carnaval favors….colourful crepe paper flowers, hand-made puppets, glittery masks….
…and boxes and boxes of cascarones! So what exactly are these ‘cascarones’ that I speak of? Like you may have guessed, they are eggs. Chicken eggshells are liberated of their yolks, and then painted and repurposed as mini confetti piñatas (that you break with someone else’s head.)
A bag of ten cascarones costs 5 pesos (less than 50 cents.) Just before sunset, the huevo war commences and it’s an eggshell throwing free-for-all. Confetti chaos mixes with the shrieks and giggles of children of all ages. Even babies get in on the action; with their parents’ help they crack a cascaron on their older sibling’s noggin and they all laugh. For the older kids, this is the perfect excuse to flirt. Nothing catches your crush’s attention like throwing eggs at them.
As with most fiestas (and weekends in general) in San Miguel de Allende, mariachi, street food, and ‘mojigangas’ are integrated into the festivities.
All in all, San Miguel’s Carnaval this weekend was a smashing good time! I came home with a hair full of confetti and eggshells, so I feel the night was a success.
Know of any other smaller, lesser known Carnaval/Carnival traditions like this one? Do share!
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