LOUISIANA (KLFY) – Many who celebrate Easter are very familiar with traditions like dying and decorating Easter eggs, the frantic search in Easter egg hunts, and of course, having your Easter basket filled with treats. But there is another tradition common to Acadiana, egg pocking.
While some believe egg pocking (or egg pacque) to be an exclusively Cajun tradition, it’s actually known in many countries around the world. From egg tapping in some European countries to egg fighting in parts of India, the name may change but the game tends to remain the same.
The point of the game is to find out who has the strongest egg. In a tournament style showdown, two opponents have to hold their eggs on the larger end so that the top is facing the opponent. They then take turns tapping the other’s egg until one cracks. If your egg cracks, you are out and the winner advances to the next round.
While the game seems simple enough, it can get competitive. Some family teams have been known to practice and train in advance. And like any competitive sport, there is cheating. Some “athletes” have tried to use different types of eggs (other than chicken). Some even resort to fake eggs!
Don’t forget about the jokers of the competition. There is always someone who just wants to watch the world burn and use a raw egg.
One community in particular even has an annual festival. The Town of Cottonport in Avoyelles Parish celebrates with “Pockin on the Bayou” Easter Festival. The Saturday before Easter, many activities and contests take place all day. And what festival would be complete without food and even a parade.
Since the pastime is often synonymous with Easter in Cajun country, the eggs used are usually the eggs that have been hard boiled, dyed and decorated for the Easter season. In true Cajun fashion, nothing goes to waste, so cracked eggs that have lost are pealed and enjoyed as an Easter Day snack.
Regardless of which part of the world, the cultural history or the variation of rules, egg pocking has always been a time of celebration and new beginnings.