Knockin’ Eggs: A Cajun Easter Tradition

There is never a shortage of things to do in New Orleans with kids, and Easter is no exception! If you are looking for Easter events in New Orleans, the ultimate guide to Easter is a great source. Below is a fun Easter tradition called “knocking eggs” that you can start with your kids even if you’ve never done this before! If you are looking for a festive Easter dessert, try these easy birds’ nests.

Knocking Eggs: A Cajun Easter Tradition

Have you ever heard of knocking eggs? If not, let me introduce you to this wonderful tradition.

One of the greatest things about living in Louisiana is that we are a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, many of which carry some pretty awesome traditions with them. A small sampling of the people that live here come from so many backgrounds: Cajun, Creole, German, French, Spanish, African and Vietnamese are just a few. I think it is part of what makes New Orleans such a wonderful place to live. Everyone is different, and we openly share our traditions among a diverse group of cultures that have managed to combine in a way that makes our great city unique.

I am a proud Cajun. Both of my parents are from central Louisiana and came down to New Orleans when they decided to start a family. When I was a kid, they did a great job of blending their Cajun culture with our new “city” life. Not only did they teach us how to speak some Cajun French, but we also learned how to make an awesome Cajun jambalaya, read The Cajun Night Before Christmas with the appropriate dialect, and when it came to Easter, we learned how to “paques” (pock) or “knock” eggs.

What is pocking / knocking eggs?

You are probably like, what in the heck does “Paques” mean? In French, the term “Paques” translates to Easter, and it is pronounced like “pock.” While that is the meaning, in the Cajun culture, it also is used to describe an activity that has been around for years. “Knocking” or “pocking” eggs is also the sound that the eggs make when tapped together. I remember the first Easter I celebrated with my husband and his family. We were waiting for lunch to start, and I said “When are we pocking eggs?” and my in laws looked at me like I was a weirdo. They had never heard of such a thing, and it was then that I realized that not everyone does this for Easter!

Of course, now fifteen years later, I have gotten them to join in the fun and today, I’m happy to share with you all my favorite Easter tradition that is straight from my Cajun roots so that you may share it with your family and make memories!Knocking Eggs for Easter I New Orleans Moms Blog

My favorite Easter tradition

On Easter Sunday, our long standing tradition, what we affectionately call “knocking” or “pocking” eggs, is to tap Easter eggs against each other in an attempt to “bust up” your competitors egg. More specifically, you take the pointy ends of the eggs and tap them against each other until one cracks. The person who still has the whole egg collects that broken one and moves on. The last egg standing would be the winner.

In some families, you play for bragging rights, whereas in others, you actually win a prize! It is really up to a family to determine if awards are given. In a town near where my mother is from, Easter Sunday actually boasts a full event dedicated to the activity where there are cash prizes awarded in each category!

Every year, as a child growing up, my cousins and I would get up bright and early with our grandmother and dye several dozen eggs on Good Friday, taking special care to boil them in her very specific way. (I still don’t know the exact recipe, so any of my cousins who may be reading, feel free to tell me!) There was a key to making your egg “stronger” that I still have no idea about.

Then, on Easter Sunday, after we had demolished the candy in our baskets and gone to Mass, we would return back to MaMa’s house to “paque” or “knock” eggs – usually an epic battle of some of us trying to bust the yolks out of our Easter Traditions I New Orleans Moms Blogcompetitor’s egg in hopes of getting some extra candy or even some money if we won. After we were all done busting every single egg up, usually my aunts, mom and grandmother would come together to make a big “egg salad” with all of the busted eggs so that we could enjoy them with our meal. These days, it’s not Easter dinner without a serving of that salad alongside our ham and green beans!

While we don’t get to celebrate with our extended family much any longer, we still do this now with my immediate family and my mother always wins. I swear she knows the “secret,” and she just will not share it so that she can maintain her bragging rights. That’s ok, though, because the salad is pretty darn good, and I consider that a win-win in my book!

What is so amazing about this whole experience is that is a tradition that I hold dearly in my heart. Every year, I spend Good Friday boiling a dozen eggs and dyeing them with Andrew. As soon as I smell the pungent vinegar and plop those eggs in teacups filled with brightly colored liquid, those memories of my childhood come flooding back. When it all comes down to it, it’s those types of activities that make childhood so special, and I’m so glad that I can continue it with my own son. For me, it’s passing on these traditions with my own child and sharing the memories with him that is one of my most favorite parts of parenting.

Also, it would be rude if I didn’t share a tasty way to use up all of those busted eggs! Here I’m sharing our family’s recipe for a perfect side for your Easter ham. 

Easter Egg Salad

1 dozen hard boiled and dyed eggs, sliced

3/4 cup safflower or canola oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

In a mason jar, combine oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and shake until well blended. Add desired amount to the sliced eggs. Toss well and serve.

Do you have any special Easter traditions? Do you “pock” eggs? Do YOU know the secret to harder eggs?


  1. I grew up pocking eggs. My Grandparents lived in Ville Platte for years. We were told as children that to pock was to break open. This was a sign that we as Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead and came out of the tomb. I do know from experience, buy the small eggs they seem to be harder than the bigger ones. One year I cleaned up with one very lucky hard egg.

  2. If you put a dish rag in the water add viiniger. And stand the eggs up small end down. The rag around them keeps them turned down . This fills the small end of the eggs and makes it solid. My paw paw taught me this. He had the best eggs.

  3. I remember doing this at my grandparents house which is also in Avoyelles parish, Simmesport to be exact. Sure brings back some very fond memories.

  4. From the Acadiana area.St. Landry and Acadia parishes..Eunice to be exact..we enjoyed this tradition of pacqueing or Pocking also..with the traditional colorful Easter potatoe salad..and for any late .comers to the gathering we would pock and. pickle the eggs ..yum and we’d enjoy these in pickling jars on the cabinet for a special treat! We used to use the leftover eggs for hiding for the hunt in the afternoon with the cousins!.whew! We’d find smelly eggs for days later…lol !

    • if you look for a recipe online, look for Frank Davis’ recipe collection online.
      But I take the easiest route – a box of Zatarain’s original jambalaya mix. Just add a combo of shrimp & sausage (my fave) and BINGO. great, spicy jambalaya.

  5. Am from the big city of Elton, grew up pocking eggs at Easter. I got special “banty eggs”, since I was the little girl in the family. I made nest with the new grass that came up this time of year, in hopes that the Easter bunny would leave me lots of eggs. The bunny found most of the nest. Wow that was a special time in my life. We pocked eggs, and the ones that were not chewed up or mashed too bad were used in egg salads, or potato salad, or deviled eggs. In those years not much food was wasted (it was the WW11 era.

  6. I know what banty eggs are! Yes, we pocked eggs. Once my sister had a real winner, it broke everyone in the town’s egg. She put it in the freezer ’cause she figured it’d keep till the next Easter.

  7. I I am from the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA . My parents and grandparents are from Colorado. Our heritage is Irish, Swedish and Scottish. My mother taught us pocking, but we always referred to it as egg fights. The only time we did this was on Easter morning.


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