Two boys egg tapping red wins The egg tapping game or egg fight is a traditional Easter game. The rule is very simple: to hold a hard-boiled egg and tap eggs of other participants to break them but to keep your own undamaged.
In English folk traditions, the game has variously been known as "shackling", "jarping" or "dumping". As with any other game it has been a subject of cheating: eggs with cement core, alabaster, and even marble eggs have been reported.
The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in Pagan celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth of man at Easter.
According to Croatian documents, tucanje jajima ("tapping the eggs") was first mentioned being played in 14th century Zagreb, and in fact was such an important event, that the texts stated events happening "after the egg tapping," i.e. Easter. Venetia Newall in her book An Egg at Easter: A Folklore Study quotes an early reference from 15th-century Poland.
In other cultures and languages
In Assam (a state of India in which the easternmost indigenous Indo-European language is spoken) the game is called Koni-juj (Koni = Egg; Juj = Fight). It is held every year on the day of Goru Bihu (the cattle day) of Rongali Bihu, which falls mid of April and on the day of Bhogali Bihu, which falls mid of January.
In Croatia, both coloured eggs and uncoulored Easter eggs are used as everyone picks an egg to tap or have tapped; every egg is used until the last person with the unbroken egg is declared the winner, sometimes winning a money pool.
In Holland the game is called eiertikken. Children line up with baskets of coloured eggs and try to break those in another person s basket. But players must only break ones of the same colour as their own.
In Romania, visitors strike red eggs against one held by the head of the household and exchange the greetings "Christ is risen!" and "He is risen indeed!" The person who keeps an unbroken egg is said to enjoy the longest life.
Christians in Bulgaria have a similar custom and may believe that the winner of the egg tapping contest will have the most health until the next Easter. The first painted, red egg may be preserved until the next year as a token of luck and good health.
Ruthenians have a tradition of rolling the eggs in a game called okatisja. The boys roll eggs on the meadows. If an egg is cracked, then it belongs to the boy whose egg cracked it.
Greeks call the practice tsougrisma ( ), meaning to clink together.
Armenians played this game for many years with no specified name.
In many places in Louisiana, egg-tapping (called egg-knocking or egg pacqueing) is a serious competition event. Marksville claims to be the first to make it into an official event in 1956. In the past some cheaters used guinea hen eggs, which are smaller and have harder shells. Nowadays guinea egg knocking is a separate contest category. Preparation for this contest has turned into a serious science. People now know which breeds of chicken lay harder eggs and at what time. The chickens must be fed with calcium-rich food and have plenty of exercise. Proper boiling of the contest eggs is also a serious issue. Some rules are well-known, such eggs must be boiled tip down, so that the air pocket is on the butt end. There is also the rule that the champion must break and eat their eggs to prove they are not a fake.
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