Guatemalan Carnival Cascarones for 25 Centavos

Canastos de Carnaval

Cascarones are empty eggshells that are filled with pica-pica paper confetti and then covered up with another piece of papel china (tissue paper) and finally painted in colorful ways; like everything else in Guatemala. The final painted eggshells are reserved for the Carnaval as it is known carnival in Spanish which is the ‘Sad Tuesday’ before Ash Wednesday; why ‘Sad Tuesday’?, well carnival means “farewell to meat”, you can only be sad if you are going to keep a vegetarian lent. 😉

Actually for an in-depth and more serious explanation, I believe it is better to read Manolo’s comment and the other comments in the entry Guatemalan Carnival Cascarones. The only thing I would add to the awesome explanations is the fact that you can also purchase cascarones in the tienda (your local convenience store) for about 25 centavos each. Twenty-five centavos is the equivalent of 3 cents from the U.S. Dollar. Centavos are the subdivision of the Quetzal, Guatemala’s currency, and there are 100 centavos in 1 Quetzal (about 12 cents).

Okay, I am taking orders, how many cascarones will you need to break into the head of the cascarrabias (grumpies)?

© 2008 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • These would make very nice christmas tree decreations

  • coltrane_lives

    charming…and they are tossed at????

  • Claudia

    you take them in your hand and break them on people’s head. . . it’s quite fun actually.

  • Yeah, with cascarones the fun is in the chase (I find) and the thrill of the hunt (if you will) is what makes this celebration so well enjoyed by many. And, since you’re in costume (thanks Manolo for refreshing my memory), the emotion gets bigger and bigger. Personally, in my most humble opinion, the crashing of the cascaron on the victim’s head is the crowning moment. Of course, if you’re the victim, the perspective changes. 😀

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  • I remember when I was a child, my mother, sisters and I would start saving the egg shells around 3 months in advance, we would wash them gently and let them dry. It was so much fun to paint each cascaron and put pica pica inside… I remember one of my best carnavales I was probably 7 and I was dressed as strawberry shortcake, it was just awesome my mother sew the custome for me. The carnaval season is a very nice tradition in my country of origin, my linda Guatemala!

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  • Athmovers

    Miss that…haven’t done it in 7 years!