Thursday, April 1, 2010


If Your Eggs Are Cracked, Please Step Down: Easter Egg Knocking in Marksville, Louisiana

Before Punkin Darlin and I met and married I was a widow. I had been married to a french speaking Cajun ( a barber by trade) from Marksville, LA and soon after meeting him was introduced to a custom originating in the early 50's called Pocking Eggs which everyone in Avoyelles Parish does at Easter time. Most people hide and hunt eggs, but the cajuns Pock or in our language "Knock" them. The kids and adults alike take a couple of hardboiled eggs even to mass on Easter and after mass have great fun by pocking them with their pew neighbors. A strange but charming custom!

On Easter Sunday morning in Marksville, Louisiana, most of the townspeople will attend mass at the various local churches. In order to "knock eggs" two people will agree to knock, then one will hold a boiled egg with the small end up while the other taps on it with the small en d of his egg. One egg will crack. The person whose egg has cracked will then have to forfeit his egg to the winner. This custom is carried out in several Cajun communities throughout South Louisiana. In some areas the practice is referred to as "Pacques Pacques", which simply means "Easter Easter" in French, but is also a play on words because the sound of an egg tapping on another egg makes a sound like "poc poc".

When all the eggs are cracked on their small end, the children usually continue with the game by knocking the "butts" or the large ends. Then they knock the sides. If they have an Easter egg hunt at home later, all the eggs will already be cracked all over! Hiding eggs for the children to find is a relatively new custom in Marksville, compared with knocking, and it is definitely not the major event.

After the eggs are boiled, they are dyed and decorated. Today, most families use commercial egg dyes or bottled food coloring. However, the citizens of Marksville and Cottonport recall the stories their parents and grandparents have told of the days when eggs were colored with juice from wildflowers, roots, berries, chimney soot, and coffee grounds. The old-timers believed that boiling the eggs in coffee grounds made them stronger. Some people still do it.

The entire tradition of egg knocking is something passed on by the old-timers.
Groups of family and friends are talking, laughing, catching up on the latest news, and knocking eggs.

Happy "Pocking"!


  1. Goodness, I'll have to come back to finish this article later...delightful reading though . You're right, it's definitely a charming tradition!

    Have a blessed day Mollye!

  2. Happy Pocking to you - what an intersting custom. I learn something every day by people like you sharing!


  3. Well I had no ides. That was very interesting - indeed. You have such a wonderful way of writing momma,. Can't imagine where you store all of these stories AND the ability to create all of that fabulous art TCC ! I read your blog JUST about everyday a.... and I am charmed. Hope you have a safe April 1st. Hope you aren't the brunt of too many hoaxes today. HEe Hee ...Love Lori

  4. Pok Pok Mollye Sweetie...
    How fun is this? I imagine all the kids want to go to mass on this special occasion. What a fun custom? And it gets folks to meet their pew neighbors in church. You know some folks occupy a pew every day for their whole entire lives and never speak once to anyone. Sad but true I have seen it.

    Hopefully you will survive the April Fool's Day. Somebody put a pair of men's boots in the first stall today, so when I went in this morning and sat down, I looked to the left and saw men's boots. Scared the living daylights out of me. Had draped the britches over the stool so it looked like the drawers were dropped even. I got out of there quick. Then I realized what day it was so I went back in to take a peel. Figured out what they had done. The boogers.

    Have a beautiful day my sweet precious friend. I love you. Country hugs and much love...Sherry

  5. Oh how fun! Thanks for sharing this Mollye!
    I remember when my boys were small and my grandchildren too we would dye eggs for the hunt. This poking would be so fun!

    I will pass this on to my daughter in laws the will love it!

  6. mollyeeeee, is this an april fools day prank?! heh heh

    as i've mentioned before, i have cajun relatives (on my mama's side and not so's anyone could notice), but i've never heard of egg pocking. but then, there are plenty of things i've never heard!

    what a cute story and delightful tradition! thanks for sharing. happy easter to you and yours, mizmollye!

    terry lee

  7. I have to say I've never heard of it either, but being from New Orleans I can believe it, Cajuns have some very different and adorable traditions. I enjoyed reading your post, will have to come back and check your blog out.
    Happy Good Friday to you and yours.

  8. Oh, I love hearing about this custom. It is new to me and just lovely!


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