Let the New Year traditions begin! This morning (as we have done each year on Dec 31 since 2008) we decorated cascarones.  Cascarones are eggs which have been drained and contain a surprise filling, often confetti. From my reading on cascarones, they are said to be a tradition that had their beginnings in Italy. It is said that men used to try and woo women by throwing perfume filled eggs at women they were interested in.We incorporate cascarones into our New Years day as a fun way to wish family members all the best for the New Year.

The beauty of decorating cascarones is that it is an art activity that the whole family can enjoy. Toddlers can roll the eggs around the paint and older children can paint elaborate patterns on their eggs.

Each of my three children have enjoyed this activity from a young age, you just need to have a few extra eggs on hand because of the fragile nature of them!

Materials:

– Eggs that have been drained, cleaned and dried.

– Paint (you could use food colouring or water colour paints to colour eggs too)

– Embellishments- glitter, small sequins

For our 2011 Cascarones we experimented with applying some lace tape around our eggs and used sponge brushes to create a resist effect.

Process:

– Use an instrument to make a hole in the top of the eggs to be decorated and drain (by blowing the egg yolk out) the egg.

 Rinse out the egg.  Let dry.

– Decorate the eggs. Have fun experimenting with different techniques. If you choose to use glitter with a toddler and you don’t want to see evidence of your art experience for the next year, place the glitter in a sealed bag and then toss the egg (covered in wet paint) in the bag. Seal the bag and gently shake to glitter the egg.

Decorating our cascarones for New Year 2012 (This years cascarones are not complete yet – they are painted and drying, we need to insert our well wishes and cover when they are completely dry – see steps below)

Cascarones with the lace tape removed:

– Once the eggs are dry, it is time to insert your well wishes. In the past we have written a message. Last year we used symbols instead. In each egg we placed: a sparkly butterfly to symbolise new beginnings; a yellow feather to represent wishes for a light heart and a sparkly heart to symbolise our hope for all recipients to be surrounded by love (to love and be loved). We broke a section from the top of each egg to insert our symbols and then secured a bright coloured piece of tissue paper over the hole to ensure the contents were contained in each egg.

Our completed cascarones from last year.

Once you have yourself a batch of cascarones, let the cascarone festivities begin. Each year we have dinner with mum and dad on New year’s day (to celebrate Dad’s birthday and the New Year). Part of our dinner celebration involves the breaking of the cascarones (over each other’s heads)  to wish each family member all the best for the New Year.

This is tradition that has stuck for our family and one that created laughs and good memories.