Cascarones

 

I grew up making and cracking cascarones in San Antonio, Texas. There the tradition dates back to the original Spanish settlers. As a child I used to watch my neighbor Mrs. Delgado make these colorful cascarones for family parties and church festivals in the spring. 
I now live in Philadelphia and love to share the spontaneity of these wonderful eggs. For over 25 years I have bought eggs, donated the egg product, saved paper to shred for confetti, organized parties to teach the skills of cascarone making, taught school kids and persuaded my fellow artists to make fine art eggs. Now I want you to try. Check the teacher resource section where you will find information on creating cascarones for yourself and your group. 

Potluck dinners work well with this type of social gathering. You can sell the egg at your own school events and raise funds for your own HIV/AIDS organization.

Why HIV/AIDS? To bring art and self-expression to young people who are frequently reluctant to talk about their own experiences with the disease. I personally experienced the taboo around my uncle who passed away from AIDS as well as friends in Philadelphia. Respect and unconditional love for the HIV community has always been a big part of it for me. What better way than a cascarone potluck party to promote art and conversation on the topic? 

We have been creating and selling hand painted cascarones since 1992 to assist families affected by HIV/AIDS. We have donated all of the proceeds not only to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but also The Circle of Care, All Walks of Life and the STARR program at Episcopal Community Services. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to our fundraiser.

To donate to our fund please visit:
https://www.philafound.org/Donors/StartGiving/WhatCanIDoThroughAFund/CascaronesPorLaVidaFund.aspx

History of the Cascarone

The origin of cascarones (the word means "egg shells" in Spanish) is a little muddled. The cascarone stems from the Italian Renaissance when Italian gentlemen would fill emptied eggs with beautiful perfumes and scented powder to give to their beloved. As with the piñata, the Italians allegedly got the practice, via Marco Polo, from the Chinese, who filled the eggs with powder. The practice of making hollowed-out, surprise-filled eggs moved from Italy, into Austria, France and then to Spain.  Then in the 1860s, Carlota, the wife of Emperor Maximilian, introduced cascarones to Mexico. In Mexico people replaced the perfumed powder with confetti. It was then when Mexicans labeled the eggshells.... Cascarones... Which derives from the word "Cascara" which means shell. In Mexico they showed up at many different celebrations, especially Carnival. From there they headed north into what we know as California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

About 150 years ago, one cascarone enthusiast wrote that the eggs were so popular that people would stand by their hens all day waiting for fresh ones to arrive.Beaning someone with a confetti egg is meant as a sign of affection. In earlier times, shy couples flirted this way. Today, throughout Mexico and the American Southwest, Cascarones are used to celebrate. [Credit for this information goes to Featherland Egg Farms at featherlandeggfarm.com.]

News

For latest information go to:Cascarones Por La Vida's Facebook page.
Other links to videos on the cascarones project:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLbbNKBLKCg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBoPiUcHMOc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDjeaBsUAqQ