People have had springtime fun with eggs for centuries. Fun with Easter egg tapping, shackling, and dancing have all provided springtime amusement. Not to mention hunting, picking, boxing knocking, jarping and the good old-fashioned egg fights. The Victorian Era was no egg-ception.
Even in the Victorian Era, nothing said springtime like a rousing game of egg tapping. It’s one of the most popular egg sports to this day. The rules are simple: pick an egg, tap another player’s egg until one breaks. The person with the unbroken egg wins and moves to the next players. The egg still intact at the end is the winner.
Yes, people have been known to cheat. Eggs have been boiled, filled with hard materials and strengthened in ways considered unsporting for proper players.
Egg Tapping competitions are taken seriously in many parts of the world. On Easter Sunday, the world championship takes place in County Durham, England, at the Peterlee Cricket And Social Club.
Egg Knocking War In A Rest Home!
Don’t miss this amazing video of an Egg Knocking championship that takes place in the BridgePoint Senior Living Home at, Los Altos. Easter 2011. (Go Mary!!)
How To Win An Armenian-style Easter Egg Fight
Armenians dye their Easter eggs in a pot of boiling red onion skins. This not only gives them a beautiful rose color, it strengthens them for use in an egg competition.
In How to win an Armenian-style Easter Egg Fight, Leslie Berestein Rojas, KPCC’s Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter, offers some excellent tricks for success as an egg tapper.
“When starting out, you want to intuitively choose the best egg in the basket. It’s like choosing a horse at the race track. You want an egg with the best form and pedigree, and just like horses, you want an egg that is lean and has more of an elongated shape. Stay away from the humpty dumpty AA jumbo eggs. No pun intended, but those crack easily.
When you pick your winning egg, then you have to pick your losing opponent, and quickly move up the ranks of family and friends until it’s you and the other last uncracked contender. It’s always good to start with family members who have annoyed you in the last year, since this is a therapeutic way to work out your issues.”
Rojas advises that first and foremost, a serious player must stand face to face with his or her opponent. Second, look that person in the eyes, even if he or she is a child. Never show signs of weakness or fear. Hopefully, your egg will follow your lead.
In the Victorian Era, egg shackling was a favorite game. Children wrote their names on eggs and put them in a basket. The basket was shaken until all eggs cracked. The last egg to crack or remain intact was the winner.
Its origins go back to medieval days but the tradition of egg shackling is still going strong at Stoke St Gregory Primary School near Taunton, England.
The Egg Dance
Throughout the United Kingdom, the egg dance was done in small hopping steps. It was sometimes referred to as the hop-egg. The Saxon word hoppe means “to dance.” Hopping was brought to England from Germany by the Saxons as early as in the 5th century.
In case you’re wondering, yes, people continue the Egg Dance tradition today. Open-air museum Blists Hill Victorian Town is celebrating Easter Victorian-style, with daily “egg dances”: dancing blindfolded across a street peppered with eggs. Children who manage to do it without breaking an egg will be rewarded with chocolate.
Check out the video of a blindfolded egg dance by Monkseaton Morris Men at Chateau-sur-Allier, featured in our post, Let The Good Eggs Roll.
For more Easter fun, see Easter Bonnets and Victorian Era Parades.
Racing Nellie Bly
Victorian Secrets From Footnotes In History
Know The Past To Invent The Future