This year marks the 125th anniversary of Fiesta San Antonio, and no matter what’s on your Fiesta bucket list, you’ll likely be the recipient of a colorful, confetti-filled cascarone, cracked gingerly on top of your head.
The egg’s cheerful contents are part of a fun-filled tradition, however, there are a few mannerly tips to keep in mind before sharing (and returning) the favor with family and friends.
1. Know the person before you crack.
The crack of a brightly colored egg will not be welcome if it’s delivered over the head of an unsuspecting bystander. Don’t catch a stranger off guard.
2. Respect the “Please don’t.”
It’s passive aggressive to crush a confetti filled egg on someone that is asking you not to do so. Be aware of their facial expressions and body language to determine if it’s a friendly “don’t, but I really don’t mean it” or an “I mean business – you better not!” If you lack social awareness, this could be a dangerous bet.
3. Take it outside.
Be respectful of where you scatter a million pieces of tiny paper. An office or someone’s home is not the place to leave a long lasting paper trail.
4. Crush vs. pound.
There’s a difference between a light hand and a hammer blow when it comes to delivering a cascarone on someone’s head. Again, another prime opportunity to laugh or annoy someone, especially when liquor is involved.
5. Avoid food and drink.
If someone is sitting at a table, or walking around with a plate of food, aim strategically for their head. Getting the bits of colorful paper in their beer or gordita can cause food and drink to change to a vibrant purple and make it difficult to digest if swallowed.
6. Be gentle with the kids.
The same amount of force you would use on an adult head does not translate to children. Also, be cautious about scaring them before they know what is happening. Surprises are fun, only when you know the temperament of the child, and they are familiar with the tradition.
7. Teach your kids to crack responsibly.
Give them a quick training on how to properly crush an egg on someone’s head without getting aggressive. They will likely be around playmates and babies who require a “sprinkle” rather than hand contact.
8. Educate out of town guests.
If this is a guest’s first experience with Fiesta, they may not have any idea what a cascarone is, or how they are used. Allow your guest of honor to be the first to make the initial crack. Remind them not to rub the crushed shells in the hair too deeply – especially if the receiver’s hair is curly, coiffed or coarse!
9. Don’t crack unless given permission.
Not every event may welcome the fun loving cascarone. Especially at personal parties where the atmosphere may be formal, even though it’s a festive event. Leaving behind a trail of crushed eggs is not every host’s idea of Fiesta fun!
10. Give a box away as party favors.
If you love them, but not necessarily at your house or event, give them away as a Fiesta memory as you say goodbye to your friends. Add a fun Fiesta medal if you are feeling especially generous!
You may also find Diane’s Fiesta Etiquette segment on San Antonio Living helpful.
For more of Diane’s etiquette tips, subscribe to her articles on Huffington Post, read her Inc. contributions, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.