Saturday, April 07, 2007

Egg Picking

For years my family has played an Easter game that my grandfather (93, born & raised here in Baltimore) played as a boy. We each would pick an egg and knock them points or butts together and see which one breaks. Then we'd switch sides and try again. Who ever had an egg that didn't crack won. We still play this every year with my grandpop. Recently I was trying to look it up online to learn more about the tradition. Grandpop had no idea what it was called, but said that boys would roam the alleys on Easter asking "Who's got an egg" or more oddly "who's gotta guinea?" and then they'd play. Anyway, I couldn't find anything at all until this morning when I came across this post over at Counter Intelligence that talked about the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of "egg picking" which sounds exactly like what we do. Now armed with the term "egg picking" I've found several other mentions, including one saying that it used to be played in Baltimore but has gone out of favor (not a my house!) and this one that seems to point to a larger "egg picking" community.

"Egg breaking games have been popular for centuries in many different countries, too. In England it is called Egg Picking, or Egg Shakling, and children hold hard-boiled eggs in their hands and knock them lightly against the eggs held by others. When players' eggs break, they must give them to their opponents. The champion is the child whose egg has the hardest shell! "

Has anyone else played this game?