The morning egg hunts have ended and it's time for those celebrating Easter today to dig into their feasts. And in some L.A. households, time to do do a little old-fashioned egg fighting.
It's a tradition that contributor and comic Lory Tatoulian grew up with among her Armenian American family, one that she's developed some expertise in by now. So for the uninitiated (don't worry, there's no runny mess involved) here Lory offers a few tips for success.
May the best egg win.
As Armenians we’re not so much into the whole Easter egg hunt, as much as the age-old egg cracking game. The last thing we want to do is get up with belly full of choreg, lamb and pilaf, and run around looking for eggs. The traditional, sedentary, egg cracking game, that is popular with Armenians and Greeks, requires little energy exertion and lot of bad egg-cracking jokes.
Traditionally, Armenians dye their Easter eggs in a pot of boiling red onion skins. This gives them a glowing rose color and fortifies them as a stronger weapon to use in the egg competition.
When starting out, you want to intuitively choose the best egg in the basket. It’s like choosing a horse at the race track. You want an egg with the best form and pedigree, and just like horses, you want an egg that is lean and has more of an elongated shape. Stay away from the humpty dumpty AA jumbo eggs. No pun intended, but those crack easily.
When you pick your winning egg, then you have to pick your losing opponent, and quickly move up the ranks of family and friends until it’s you and the other last uncracked contender. It’s always good to start with family members who have annoyed you in the last year, since this is a therapeutic way to work out your issues.
Playing and winning the game:
- Stand face to face with your contender, look into his or her eyes (even if it's a kid), and show no fear or weakness.
- Flip a coin to decide who is going to hit first.
- They go first? Whatever! You’re holding the golden egg in your hands.
- Both contenders should start with the bottom part of the egg.
- Since you are the one who is going to be hit first, cup both hands around the egg and leave little room for your egg to be harmed.
- Use the fatty skin from your index finger and thumb to buttress your egg, which barely leaves room for their egg to touch yours. This is why my uncle Setrak always plays good defense, he has major man hands.
- If your egg cracks, flip the egg over and have them take another jab.
- If your egg is fractured on both sides, wah! wah! wah! You lose.
- If your egg doesn’t crack, then it’s your turn to get cracking.
- Basically, you want to walk away with at least one side of your egg not cracked.
- As you move through the matrix of cousins and friends, you will then come to the final egg-off between you and the other impervious egg hero.
- If your egg leaves unscathed, then you are the WINNER!
… and you’re you are deemed the “year’s lucky person” and attacked with a smothering of kisses. In addition to winning the coveted basket of cracked eggs, you also win some sort of prize. Usually it’s $20 from grandma’s social security check. But it also can be some makeshift gift, anything ranging from a supermarket daffodil plant to a crocheted doily made by your aunt.