Fierce

Cascarones: the Confetti-filled Eggs That Make Easter the Most Colorful Fiesta of the Year

Instagram / sanantoniomag

Since it falls at the beginning of Spring, Easter is one of the most colorful and lively events on our calendars. Across Latin America and the United States, festivals celebrating semana Santa and Easter are full of gorgeous decorations, festive performances and some of the best food you’ll eat all year. However, if you live in Mexico or in the Southern US, you’ll be aware of another tradition that celebrates the shades of Spring: cascarones.

Cascarones are hollowed chicken eggs that have been dyed and filled with confetti or small treats. These bright party favors have a long history and an enduring place in Latinx culture. In North America, cascarones were originally used in Mexico during Carnaval. They have since combined with the celebration of Easter but are also popular during New Year’s Eve, Christmas, birthdays, quinces and other fiestas. In fact, if your guests aren’t getting hit over the head by confetti eggs, can you really even call your event a celebration.

After you see this list, you might want to add these vivid eggs to all future party plans.

1. We can thank Marco Polo for cascarones.

Instagram / @emilyblincoe

Though they first came to Mexico in the 19th Century, cascarones have been around for much longer. Merchant and explorer Marco Polo first brought the favors over to Spain from China during the 13th Century. Cracking the decorated eggs over the heads of prospective sweethearts became a European courting custom before making it’s way over to Mexico.

2. Confetti wasn’t originally used.

Instagram / @prescribeddesign

Confetti wasn’t the first surprise inside cascarones. In Europe, they were originally filled with colored and/or fragrant water or powder. The eggs were sealed with wax and made for a much messier party favor. Cascarones wouldn’t be made with confetti until the custom traveled to Mexico.

3. A new tradition is born.

Instagram / @glenninnola

Easter egg hunts aren’t traditionally a thing in Mexico but that doesn’t mean eggs have no place there. When cascarones became intertwined with Easter, passing out confetti eggs to festival attendees became a custom. The mock confetti fights are called papaqui or guerra de cascarones and they can be pretty intense.

4. Cascarones reflected in la Cultura.

Instagram / @chachacovers

Like so many aspects of Latinx culture, cascarones have found their way into our art. This gouache painting by Texas artist Carmen Lomas Garza depicts a memory of time spent with family, decorating cascarones. Depictions of family and culture are a prevailing theme in Chicano art and Lomas Garza’s nostalgic take on this Easter tradition is no different.

5. Cascarones and the Jesus connection.

Instagram / @wigflipa

Besides Carnaval being closely tied to Easter, there is another reason why cascarones makes sense during this holiday. In pagan mythology, the egg has long been a symbol of rebirth. Many pagan customs were absorbed into Christianity in its infancy. Since Easter is the Christian celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, it only makes sense that eggs find a convenient place within the holiday.

6. A craft project and ammunition.

Instagram / @tanyacalvarez

A big part of the fun behind cascarones is making them. In order to prep eggs for confetti, a tiny hole is made in the shell in order to drain the insides. Once the inside is rinsed out and dried, they can be decorated. The final step is to fill them with confetti or other goodies and to seal the hole with a bit of crepe paper.

7. Buy them by the dozen.

Instagram / @munimercados

Of course, you can always skip craft time and buy already made confetti eggs. In the States, cascarones are usually sold by the dozen in grocery stores during the Easter season. Additionally, churches, schools, and youth groups also make and sell confetti eggs as a fundraiser during Carnaval and throughout Spring. You can even find cascarones for sale on Etsy and through Amazon.

8. Literally art.

Instagram / @crowningfelicity

Cascarones are made to be destroyed but that doesn’t mean they can’t be works of art. Besides a traditional dip-dye, cascarones can be painted by hand and adorned with extra embellishments. For example, these lovely floral painted eggs are reminiscent of Mexico’s glazed ceramics and tile.

9. Cascarones are just plain magical.

Instagram / @cascaroneria

Like any artform, cascaron decorating is only limited by the artist’s imagination. You can find eggs that are embellished with paper, gold leaf, flowers, and other common objects. Cartoon characters, sports franchise symbols, and mythological creatures are also popular cascaron decorations.

10. Let’s get creative.

Instagram / @c.u.b.o90

The simple cascaron is the ultimate mock battle ammunition but vendors have found ways to improve upon them. Cascaron puppets come in popular fantasy characters and are sought-after in Mexico. Kids — and kids at heart — can play with the puppets before busting them open over each others’ heads.

11. A party favor with extra party.

Instagram / @sluca5

When you think party, you probably think piñatas. These cascaron piñatas combine two fun ideas in one. A cascaron is placed on a decorated paper tube or cone and candy and treats are hidden inside. For double the fun, take the whole piñata cascaron and whack it until it cracks.

12. Fun that will go straight to your head.

Instagram / @barbacoapparel

While we appreciate the artistry behind a beautifully crafted cascaron, we haven’t forgotten their original purpose. Though they started off like an old-timey flirting tool, they’re now all about fun and a healthy dose of competition. The objective of any good cascaron fight is to get as much eggshell and confetti into your opponent’s hair as possible.

13. Never too young to learn tradition.

Instagram / @lizzyloverface

No one’s excluded from cascarones during Easter. For babies, the colorful eggs are an immediate fascination and those “baby’s first cascaron” pictures are perfect for Insta. Just be careful about their delicate heads. Crack the eggs in your hands first before dousing los bebitos in confetti.

14. Even pups get in on the party.

Instagram / @txrosie

Speaking of adorable Instagram pics, your pup can get into the cascaron party too. Just like with babies, you want to pre-creak your eggs to avoid hurt perrito’s furry, little head. Your dog is sure to get hyped up when a full-on cascaron battle kicks off and you’ll have a new partner to corner your opponents.

15. Wear your confetti crown with pride.

Instagram / @mandi_sullivan428

One aspect of cascarones that is both fun and frustrating is that confetti is almost impossible to remove. This might cause you to walk around with a confetti crown for a few days but fear not! Tradition dictates that those confetti storms are actually showering you with good luck. Suddenly a scalp covered in confetti sounds pretty good.

16. Cascarones are perfect for sibling rivalry.

Instagram / @disneychapafam

When you’re a kid, you have very little agency of your own so you’ve got to take power where you can get it. Cue the cascaron battle royale. Do you remember using your stash of confetti eggs to annihilate your primos and hermanos? We do and there’s a photo album at there somewhere to prove it.

17. Some things you don’t outgrow.

Instagram / @ekiss

However, the fun doesn’t have to stop when childhood ends. You never really outgrow beefing with your siblings and cousins and — with cascarones — you never have to. It’s all in good fun; even if your Easter egg fight looks more like a war zone than a family gathering.

18. Confetti = family fun.

Instagram / @klewis2291

Like any other holiday, Easter comes down to spending time with family and those you love. That’s why cascarones are so great. No matter who you are — young or old — you can have fun making or cracking the confetti eggs. If nothing else, you can sit back and enjoy the colorful vibrancy the eggs left behind.

19. You’ll never stop finding confetti.

Instagram / @allimcbutter

Speaking of those little paper reminders: they will end up EVERYWHERE. This is why paper confetti is ideal in the cascarones. The paper will decompose quickly and leave no harm to the earth. If you want to go even more environmentally friendly, you can add seed to your cascarones. Also, you can just straight up buy confetti with the seeds embedded that will decompose and release the seeds. Mother Earth will thank you!

20. Most importantly, have fun.

Instagram / @fiestasa

Easter is very much the celebration of Spring. For many places, it’s the first time of the year we’ll actually experience sunshine and clear skies. What better reason to celebrate than that. ¡Feliz Pascua!

Eight Women Opened Up About Their Sexual Assault Experiences And How They Survived

Fierce

Eight Women Opened Up About Their Sexual Assault Experiences And How They Survived

Content Warning — The following stories share details of physical and sexual abuse that could be triggering to some readers. Discretion is advised.

If you’re a woman, there’s a certain amount of extra care you have to take in our world. That’s why we go to the bathroom in groups and buy things like mace and self dense tools just in case we find ourselves the targets of attack. The numbers tell us this is a very possible situation. Statistically, 1 in 6 women are victims of an attempted or completed rape. Additionally, 1 in 4 women are the victims of domestic abuse by a significant other.  

Whether physical or sexual assault, assault completed by a stranger or a loved one, the suffering caused by these actions are very real and can lead to a lifetime of pain. We can do a lot to prevent these attacks but one of the most important things we can do for survivors after the fact is to talk about it. Addressing this pain and celebrating the strength needed to continue on afterwards helps with the difficult healing process. 

With this in mind, we asked our FIERCE readers to open up to us and talk about these traumatic experiences. What they shared spoke of the strength and perseverance of the corazón femenino. Here’s what they had to say. 

1. Healing but stronger than ever!

Instagram / @_sexual_assault_survivors

“My stepfather’s granddad molested me from 3-5 years old. He would tell me that if I told my parents they would be angry at me, so I kept it silent until 1st grade when a school nurse briefly explained what inappropriate touching was. I told her everything [and] my parents/police were called. The next morning my abuser was on a flight back to his country. My family who was supposed to protect me, instead protected him. I am still healing but stronger than ever! I refuse to let that hurt inner child shape my life.” — @rosyyaret

2. Your abuse does not define you. 

Instagram / @_sexual_assault_survivors

“I was 4 and it was my older brother. I became incredibly depressed and suicidal in high school due to the fact that I was silenced. I dropped out as soon as I turned 18. It’s taken many years of removing toxic people from my life, self love and healing. I am now a mother of two beautiful girls, I graduated high school last year at the age of 25 and I am now set to graduate from college spring 2020 with a degree in Spanish, behavioral science and sociology. I’m currently working on all my UC applications and my life is mine, I reclaimed it.

I hope that these words help someone, anyone. Your abuse does not define you or dictate your life. It gets better and you’ve got a group of hermanas and hermanos out here rooting for you. My inbox is open to anyone in need of a listening ear.” — @lichalopez__

3. We can overcome anything.

Instagram / @_sexual_assault_survivors

“4-5 year old me playing at the yard and my grandma’s ahijado abused me. A friend (6 year old boy) saw what was going on and started knocking and kicking the door until he opened it and I could run away. Had to look at this guy for years nobody knew nothing until last year that I told my husband. I’m a proud Daughter of God, a mama bear and blessed wife. We girls can overcome anything 💪🏻💪🏻” — @yulia2401

4. You aren’t the one who should feel ashamed. 

Instagram / @_sexual_assault_survivors

“In 4th grade, I was sexually molested by 3 class mates of mine. They pinned me up against a wall lifted my skirt and touched me inappropriately. They got 1 week of ISS (In School Suspension), because they were “just being kids.” meaning I still had to see them every day. I couldn’t attend school for nearly a month after. I felt so ashamed and dirty, kids looked at me funny because the rumors had started after.” — @kisssinpink

5. Ridding your life of toxicity is self care.

Instagram / @sexualabuserecovery

“I was 9 years old and it was my Godfather, we were at a barbecue at their house. I told my Mom immediately after it happened, she walked me over to her sister (his wife), and asked me to tell her what I just told her. She then picked me up, called my Dad over and told him we had to go. She didn’t tell him til we got home, she was afraid of his reaction as a father. They called the police and pressed charges, during the police report the officers asked my Mom, “what was she wearing?”

My Dad said, “excuse me?! she’s 9!” “I have to ask”, the officer replied…

My parents never doubted me, and supported me, our entire family turned their backs on us for “calling the cops on family”. My parents decided to move far away from their toxicity and it’s been just us ever since. I hold a lot of resentment towards him and them, that day I lost my primos, tias, tios.” — @goddess_divine_515

6. Find your voice and use it.

Instagram / @sexualabuserecovery

“I was molested by my mom’s brother from 3-7 years old and felt dirty and carried shame all throughout my childhood. At 21 I was raped in college and it felt as if my whole world came crumbling down. I could no longer try and push down what happened. I got therapy and through it I found my voice. I now have a PhD, did my dissertation on the post traumatic growth of Chicana/Latina survivors of sexual assault, and am a psychologist that has supported other survivors. If you’re reading this and you’re a survivor too, know that it is never your fault. Find a therapist or tell someone you trust. It gets better, I promise. 💕”  — @biancayesss

7. Addressing what happened with yourself and others will be healing.

FIERCE/ wearemitu.com

“I was molested from age 5-9 by a family member. To this date I can’t even say who or speak his name but he passed away when I was 13. Up until a couple of years ago I thought I was stronger than what happened to me and I wouldn’t let that part of my life define me. And the fact that if I said anything, my whole family would fall apart, I couldn’t bare the thought of doing that to them. That’s what I repeated to myself over and over. Until I started losing grip on my emotions and realizing I couldn’t keep a healthy relationship. Girls seek help. I’m finally not too afraid to not do so.”

8. Learn what abuse means and no it’s not your fault.

justiceforourwomenza / Instagram

It took me nearly two years to say anything. I considered him a friend in high school and completely trusted him. I blamed myself for being alone with him, for “putting myself” in that situation. Sex was never the same after, but I thought it was just me, trying to be more “godly”.. Years later, I was in a sexual abuse prevention training and learned the different meanings of sexual abuse. No means No. Abuse is abuse. Please remember it was NEVER your fault, no matter what anyone else says.

If You’re Guilty Of These 9 Bad Skin Care Habits It’s Time To Reconsider Your Daily Routine

Fierce

If You’re Guilty Of These 9 Bad Skin Care Habits It’s Time To Reconsider Your Daily Routine

#badskincare

A good skin care routine is always evolving and improving. In the pursuit of flawless, glowing skin, it’s hard not to whip out our wallets at the news of every beauty-related technological advance. However, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that we can’t just buy our way to good skin. Good skin is built off of consistent, healthy habits.

And although we say we’d do anything for good skin, we’re also human. That means a late-night partying or the rogue urge to pick at our skin can derail all the progress we’ve made over the past few weeks. Luckily for us, the new year is a clean slate and permission for us to re-commit to the skin care goals we may have neglected as 2018 wore on. In celebration of the new year, we’ve compiled a list of skin care habits we pledge to change in 2019.

1. Sleeping on Dirty Pillowcases

nomakeupgame / Instagram

As the year wears on and our schedules get busier, it’s hard to remember to wash our clothes every week, let alone our pillowcases. But we mention this resolution because it’s important. Unclean pillowcases can be a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria–and that breeding ground comes into contact with our faces every night. Yes, we can steadfastly remove our makeup every night, but our pillowcases remain a veritable waste dump for any straggling debris that’s left on our faces at the day’s end. And there is always debris. To combat pillowcase buildup, have a few pillows on rotation, flip them regularly, and wash them once a week. Your pillows–and face–will be cleaner.

2. Using Abrasive Exfoliants

darleyarabianoficial / Instagram

Who doesn’t remember buying St. Ives’ Apricot scrub from CVS as a little girl and scrubbing our faces until they were red and raw? At the time, we thought we were helping our skin by giving it a much-needed exfoliation. But now we know that mechanical exfoliation like causes “micro tears” to the delicate skin of our faces. These “micro-tears” make our skin more vulnerable to environmental irritants and more susceptible to bacteria sneaking into our skin and inflaming it. In 2019, follow TLC’s lead and say no to scrubs.

3. “Forgetting” To Wear Sunscreen

arod / Instagram

If you compile a list of advice from leading dermatologists, the one thing they’re all guaranteed to agree on is this: use sunscreen. Every. Day. Along with “drink more water”, it’s one of those pieces of advice that we’ve all heard a million times, and we’re all still struggling to adopt as a practice. Not only do sunscreens have the reputation of leaving your face like a Kabuki mask, they’re also famous for leaving behind a greasy film that makes makeup slide around your face like a skating rink. Fortunately, skin care technology has advanced in the past few years and lightweight, sheer sunscreens are now easy to find. That means you have no excuse to slather on the sunscreen after your moisturizer every day. That’s right–Every. Day.

4. Picking At Your Skin

areli_m_gonzalez / Instagram

If you commit to changing any bad habit in the New Year, let it be this one: stop picking your face. We’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to resist attacking a whitehead or clogged pore that looks ripe for popping, but most of the time, picking does more harm than good. Not only can it push more bacteria deeper into your pores, but it also inflames areas that were otherwise calm. Also, picking can leave permanent scars in its wake. Ladies, just say no to picking.

5. Sleeping in Your Makeup

labcapilo / Instagram

We’ve all been there–you come home from a crazy night out, tipsy, tired, and ready to flop into bed. The last thing you want to do is drag yourself into the bathroom subject yourself to your seemingly endless skin care routine. So you decide to close your eyes for a few moments just to rest a bit before you wash your face and…you get the picture. We understand that washing your face before bed is sometimes just impossible, so at the very least, commit to removing your makeup every night before bed in 2019. This means keeping a pack of makeup remover wipes by your bedside at all times. That way, you’ll have no excuse to snooze in your makeup.

6. Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes

yoventura / Instagram

Our makeup brushes are one of the tools we use every day but overlook when it comes to upkeep. Like any device that comes into contact with our faces, they need a good scrub-down once in a while. Foundation brushes, especially, should be cleaned at least once a week. If the idea of committing to a makeup brush cleaning schedule seems daunting, invest in a brush-cleaning pad for your sink. Not only will it cut down cleaning time, but it will work to get deeper into the brush bristles, ensuring a more thorough clean.

7. Product Overload

aa_bee_ / Instagram

With all the incredible skin care products out on the market right now, it can be tempting to buy everything you see that has a five-star review on Amazon. However, this approach to skin care can be counter-productive. Not only do some active ingredients react negatively together (like salicylic acid and retinoids), over-treating your skin can cause your skin to over-react. This means that your skin can over-compensate for its oil-loss by producing even more sebum to make up the difference. That can result in a one-two punch of dehydrated, oily skin. Keep your skin care regimen simple by sticking to cleansing, toning, and moisturizing with a few tried and true products on rotation. Your skin likes routine!

8. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

barprints / Instagram

You may hate hearing this, but it’s true: alcohol is bad for your skin. Not only does drinking produce toxic byproducts in your liver, inflame your bodily tissue and dilate your pores, it also dehydrates your skin and overall body. If cutting out drinking completely is unrealistic, try to stick to less inflammatory alcohols like red wine, which contain the antioxidant resveratrol. That way, you can have your wine and drink it too.

9. Stressing Out

afrolatinas_ / Instagram

And finally, the bad skin habit that beats them all: stress. Science tells us that high levels of stress cause the body to release the hormone cortisol, which not only incites the over-production of sebum in your glands but can contribute to eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. Although we could write a whole thesis statement on the negative effects of stress on the mind, body, and spirit, we’ll keep it simple. In 2019, pledge to take things less seriously, breathe deeper, remain present, and put yourself first once in a while. That way, by 2020, you’ll be glowing from the inside out.