I just returned from a trip home to Yardley, Pennsylvania, where my wife and I got to visit family and participate in some familiar Easter traditions. The Easter tradition I look forward to most (and probably my favorite family tradition from any time of year) is our Egg-Pecking tournament.
According to Wikipedia, this Easter tradition began in medieval times all across Europe. I’m sure its original participants did not envision the March Madness bracket-style tournament that my family has developed.
We work feverishly on Saturday to dye and decorate the hard-boiled eggs, each one with a unique name that can be intimidating, or often humorous (bonus points for egg puns). Before Easter dinner, we gather around the family room with the eggs in a carton on the coffee table, waiting for their moment of battle.
When the competitors are announced, they stand across from each other, holding the pointy side of their egg towards their opponent. Some people choose to be aggressors, some bob-and-weave, some are passive and wait for the other to strike. Upon collision, one egg cracks and one remains unscathed. The uncracked egg moves on to the next round. At the end of the tournament, the winner receives a ceramic bunny trophy that they must bring back next year to defend their title.
Despite all the silliness of this tradition, it holds a profoundly important place in my heart. It’s a time of year I get to see many of the people most important to me all in one room, laughing together.
I hope you can find some time this spring to enjoy some silliness with a few of the people most important to you (with or without the hard-boiled eggs).
I enjoyed your description of the Egg-Pecking Tournament so much that I’m going to try it out on our own family next Easter! It’s somethinvg that even very small children can enjoy with aging grandparents like me.
The bunny trophy that has to make an appearance every year is a great touch, too. In our family there are lots of Birthday and Christmas traditions, but apart from egg-hunting, we lack one for Easter—only ‘til this time next year, thanks to you!
Best wishes to you,
Thank you Jeremy for sharing that tradition. Can’t say I’ve heard of it before and might give a try with my adult children.