The Eggshell Festival Has Returned
By Jesús Aguado
Just before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, people in the Jardín Principal are sprinkled with artificial gold and silver, sawdust, flour, and even egg yolks and egg whites.
“Let’s go to the cascaronazos,” people say knowing that once in the Jardín, they will encounter a friend or the friend of a friend who will break an eggshell painted with aniline dye and covered with thin paper on their heads. Receiving a cascaronazo is a total surprise because people never know it is going to happen until one of these special eggs is broken on their heads.
One who remembers the tradition in earlier times, traditionalist Gloria Navarrete, commented that in the 70s men and women used to walk around the Jardín in opposite directions. If men liked a woman, he broke an eggshell on her head. Also in the past, the shells were filled with confetti and even with perfume. Todays, the eggshell is a total surprise because it can be filled with sawdust, or it can even be a real egg.
Children, teenagers, and adults have fun purchasing their eggshells decorated with big paper flowers, butterflies, and even clowns. This annual event, also called carnival, is always held right before Lent begins, this year it will take place on Sunday, Feb 7 and may last until Wednesday.