Friday, August 5, 2011

Cracking Cascarones

Image by Simon Howden via

Once a year in Santa Barbara the streets get covered in confetti.
I doubt the clean up crew ever really feels they're ready
for the onslaught of Fiesta and it's trail of debris -
the millions of paper remnants it inevitably leaves.

If one in four of the thousands of annual visitors
buys four cascarones from the ladies on the perimeters,
that would mean at least ten thousand glittery eggs
leaving a pile of confetti down under your legs!

As the paper piles began to form not too far away,
I wondered what the cascarone was meant to say?
Though I find some joy smacking my friends on the head,
this act must mean more to someone who is long dead.

although an exact date my resources did lack.
Perfumed powder was the very first cascarone filler,
but breaking the egg has always been the thriller.

I didn't expect to learn that they came from the Chinese.
Marco Polo carried them to Europe across land and seas.
Maximilian's wife Carlotta brought them over to Mexico
and there the people created the confetti version that we know.

They say cascarones commonly celebrate the end of lent.
 They are used to invite ladies to dance with a gent.
After forty days with no meat nor freedom to boogie
it breaks over your head, then you get down and groovy.

This year when I venture to get my taco and churro,
I think I'll look differently at that confetti down below.
Though we may not be using them for the religious purpose,
It is the time of year we party to let go of all that irks us.

Like many before us, we crack the cascarone as our sign
that it's time to party down in whatever way which you pine.
And, if you're not a fan of Fiesta's tasty Mexican food,
crack cascarones over dim sum.  They invented them, dude.

© Rachel Hoyt 2011.  All rights reserved.

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  1. This is cool and informative, thank you. :) Sounds like a lot of fun!

  2. It DOES sound like lots of fun...cracking confetti eggs on each others heads! A feel-good fiesta!

    Love your rhym-ies!! :)

  3. Fun!! And colorful! Would love to be in Santa Barbara (love that town) with my camera and catch the action.

  4. sounds like a fun & tasty celebratiion! wish i was there -- you've inspired me to investigate to see if there is any such party in my neck of the woods. thanks!

  5. We had our local carnival night recently, sadly it mainly consists of broken glass vomiting and fighting ;( alcohol is not always a good thing

  6. What a fiesta! Would love to be part of it! Thank you for painting such a colourful picture :)

  7. Loved it! Sounds like an unforgetable experience!

  8. I have heard about this tradition before but no one could tell me what it meant or why they did it. Now I know. Cool!

  9. Thank you so much to you all
    for visiting my blog this fall
    and leaving such sweet comments.
    Your words are unique presents. :)


Rhyming or not, I would like a lot to hear the thoughts my words brought...