The History of Easter Egg Pocking or ‘Egg Paque’
It's commonly thought, at least around here in South Louisiana, that Cajuns are the only ones who pock eggs at Easter. The game, however, is played around the world and has been around for centuries.
When I was a kid, my older brother Greig was the egg paque, or egg knocking as we called it, champion of our family for about 12 years until we discovered he had a marble egg.
Who Invented Egg Pocking?
It looks like the ancient Greeks get credit for getting the whole egg pocking thing going, or at least get credit for being the first people on record to do it. The Greeks named the game Tsougrisma meaning "clinking together" or "clashing" according to Suite101.com. Greek tradition uses hard-boiled eggs, dyed red, and involves two players.
That being said, egg pocking is actually a game that happens all over the world.
While the Greek version doesn't really have an actual rule book, other European versions do have rules when it comes to egg pocking.
Egg pocking, or egg tapping as it's commonly called, happens in Croatia, the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, India, Egypt and many more Countries around the globe.
In pretty much every part of the world where egg pocking takes place, it's usually associated with Christianity.
How Do You Pock, or Tap Eggs?
How to egg pock, or egg tap depends on what Country you're in. In Acadiana, we usually paque using the smaller, pointier tip of the egg. In other places people use the sides of the eggs.
The way you pock or tap eggs is, two people square off, each with a boiled egg. The two contestants then tap the ends or sides of their eggs together until one of the eggs cracks. The person whose egg doesn't crack is the winner.
Do You Win Prizes in Egg Pocking?
Becoming "Egg Pocking Champion" usually just grants you bragging rights and a full year of quality trash talking, but in some places you can win money and other prizes. Some places use annual egg pocking competitions as fundraisers.
In England they call it egg-jarping, and the "world egg-jarping championships have been held each Easter Sunday at Peterlee Cricket And Social Club County Durham, England, since 1983. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity" according to wikipedia.com.
In Croatia contestants pay to enter the competition, and the Grand Champion egg tapper usually wins the collective entry fees.
In Romania the belief is the winner of an egg pocking game gets to enjoy the longest life.
Here in Acadiana, traditionally the paque-paque champ wins the opponent's eggs.
The History of the Cajun Easter Egg Paque
In Acadiana and Louisiana, we refer to this beloved Easter tradition a few different ways. We call it egg pocking, eggknocking or egg knocking, and of course the Cajun names of egg paquing, paque paque or pock pock.
From KPLC -
"Coming from the French word for Easter, 'Pâques,' the Cajun French verb 'pâquer' indicates the action of two people each holding an egg in one fist with the smaller end up, then knocking them together in a tournament style."
In Marksville and Cottonport, the Easter egg paquing is on a completely different level. Each Easter, Marksville and Cottonport hold a city wide egg paquing competition where folks of all ages engage in egg-to-egg combat.
There you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about Cajun egg paquing and egg tapping around the world!