Customs and traditions…egg tapping

In every corner of Greece, Greek Easter has a special traditional color and a characteristic feeling. It has its own seal, value and variety which have their roots in traditions of centuries. Every region of Greece celebrates Easter Day, by reviving old customs and traditions and also folklore, all derived from the depths of time. These customs and traditions are deeply rooted in the souls of the Greeks for centuries.

 One of the traditions that the refugees brought with them from the unforgettable homelands is also egg tapping on Easter Day. This tradition symbolizes the Resurrection of the Lord and the clash between good and evil.

 The tradition of egg tapping is revived in several areas of Greece and especially in Northern Greece, where refugees of pontian descent established.

 In some places egg tapping is combined with the celebration of St. George’s Day and completed with a meal that takes place after the service of the second day of Easter, in the village square, with traditional dances and songs.

 In Kastanousa, Kerkini, in the community of Krinides of the municipality of Kavala, in Thryllorio, Rodopi, in Mavrovato and Mylopotamos, Drama, in Lefkadia, Veria, in Nymfopetra, Lagkadas, in Krya Vrisi, Giannitsa, and in many other areas, egg tapping is revived even today.

 The basic rule of the tradition is to use only chicken hen eggs. They start to collect the eggs in adequate time before egg tapping. Good egg tapping contestants collect hundreds of eggs to tap (maybe with as many as 200 eggs) with other contestants at the café, before the official start of egg tapping.

In many occasions minor disputes arise during these contests, because there are doubts about the origin of some of the eggs, whether they were laid by a chicken, a guinea fowl or a turkey hen.

 There is usually a committee which consists of experts and a veterinarian who check the validity of the eggs.

 The selection criterion for the eggs is the sound of the egg when it hits slightly on the front teeth. That is, we tap the egg in the mouth and from the sound that the tooth makes, the thinner and more piercing the sound, the stronger the egg is.

Of course there are two types of sounds that strong eggs make, one is a clear and piercing sound but also a bit thick, similar to that of a turkey hen egg, and the other is a very thin and piercing one, which is similar to that of a guinea fowl hen egg.

 An outstanding incident has been reported, in Nymfopetra, Lagkadas, of a contestant who selected only 3 eggs out of 160 as eligible, one of which broke 48 eggs and if another contestant hadn’t broken it in an insidious way, nobody knows what the final outcome would have been. Such a selection, as it was natural, had a great economic cost. However, in such an instance and for such a purpose money was not important. The only thing that mattered was the outcome, the good outcome for the participant.

 Each of the participants in «egg tapping» has 20-30 at his disposal and the winner is the one with fewer broken eggs.

 The top three are awarded a cup, in an atmosphere of fun and exchange of jokes and teases.

 In older times, egg tapping used to last three entire days.