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Poem: Breaking Fiesta Eggs


Fiesta Eggs in Santa Barbara

During the first week of August in Santa Barbara, many older Mexican men and women set up their long tables and sell tens of thousands of their handmade confetti-filled Fiesta eggs. In Spanish, they are called cascarones, and many of them resemble cartoon characters. The breaking of these colorful eggs during the Spanish Days celebration takes place in the streets of Santa Barbara, located on the central coast of California. This fantastic party lasts for seven days with events scattered throughout the city.

The first Fiesta was in 1924. Its purpose was to reflect the Rancho Period (1780 to 1880) when Santa Barbara was a remote, rural area under the influence of Spanish, Mexican, and local Native American cultures.

It is uncertain when the first cascaron was broken, but today in Santa Barbara it is a beloved tradition. The breaking of eggs for Fiesta is done in the spirit of fun and goodwill, commemorating the contributions of the Spanish speaking people and the Native Americans to our society.

Poem: Breaking Fiesta Eggs

The first weekend
in August, the bands strike
the Palominos proudly stride
down State Street
in red, green
and white

Señoras on sidewalks
selling hollow eggs
washed and painted
filled with confetti
broken over crowns
christening lives
in cascading waterfalls

Smash! Crackle! Pow!
broken confetti eggs
the yolk of life
sticks to sweaty brows
with colorful dots
of gratitude and joy

Macho men
riding white horses
flamenco dancers
in long ruffled dresses
boys with painted mustaches
in oversized sombreros
mariachi players
with sun-browned skin
making guitar-strings quiver

Bursting eggs
over unsuspecting heads
enliven a dead spirit
lighten a dark sky
setting the fiesta mood
in the sun-splattered glow
of Old Spanish Days

Señoras with mystical faces
holding Chihuahuas in drag
infusing their magic
into the bowels of eggs
four for a dollar
a dozen for three-fifty
cheap at twice the price.

Breaking Fiesta Eggs By Mark Tulin

© 2018 Mark Tulin

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