Deep in the southern United States, families and communities gather at Easter to knock eggs. No, it isn’t a euphemism. It’s literal. The tradition of egg knocking (or pâquing after the French word for Easter, Pâques) occurs in small towns across Louisiana, and is something of a point of pride.
In official contests, competitors either bring or are provided eggs that have been hard-boiled and dyed. Pairs line up, and proceed to engage in egg-to-egg combat. Eggs must strike tip to tip, with the match ending when the first egg cracks. The winner proceeds to the next contender, until one egg reigns supreme.
Outside of organized competition, the tradition of egg knocking is more about bringing the family together than the pock-pock-pocking of eggs going tête-à-tête. The boiling (pointy end down, to avoid air bubbles) and dyeing of the family’s eggs brings everyone around the table, where there is likely plenty of egg salad to go around.
Need to Know
Many countries participate in some form of egg knocking, including England, Croatia, and the Netherlands.
Where to Try It
Easter on the Red River FestivalBen Routh Recreational Park, 156 Ben Routh Road, Effie, Louisiana, 71331, United States
In addition to the children and adult egg knocking contests, the festival hosts a bonnet competition, a “cake walk,” and, of course, a children’s egg hunt.
Avoyelles Parish Courthouse417 N Main St, Marksville, Louisiana, 71351, United States
The usual spot for Marksville's annual egg knocking competition.