On Easter Monday I had my first experience of Egg Rolling.
Despite living in Preston for 11 years I have to admit this was something I had heard about but didn’t really understand and had definitely never seen in action. Now at least I have seen it live and participated (even if I still don’t truly understand it!).
So what is Egg Rolling?
Egg Rolling in the UK is the tradition of rolling eggs down a grassy hill, a custom which dates back hundreds of years (as you can see from this picture slide show from the Lancashire Evening Post).
Avenham Park in Preston, Lancashire has a long history of the egg rolling tradition and thousands turned out this year to the Preston Council organised event. Anyone that knows the park will understand that the slope at the top of the park down towards the Pavilion and the River Ribble is optimum for egg rolling fun.
Here is a video of the egg rolling in action from 2012. This looks extremely quiet compared to this year which had the organised countdown on the hour every hour from 11 am however it was a constant stream of rolling eggs and running children in between!
Many children paint their eggs before rolling, although nowadays many just favour rolling an egg of the chocolate variety.
Top tip of the day picked up from watching Egg Rolling Veterans at the park is to wrap your chocolate egg in a sandwich bag first to preserve the broken chocolate to be eaten later!
We rolled a Kinder egg, others went for hard boiled eggs.
There is an old Lancashire legend which dictates that eggshells must be carefully crushed afterwards otherwise witches will steal them and use them as boats!
I am fascinated by events built around ancient traditions, such as this one. It is important that we carry on celebrating and honouring these customs so they are not forgotten by future generations!
It is a truly family day out and there were lots of activities for children throughout the park (pictures from Blog Preston here) and thousands of people enjoying the event. Alas the crowds and noise only kept our 2 and a half year old entertained for a short visit this year. The highlight of the trip through the eyes of our toddler in fact was seeing two diggers on the way to the park and talking to a friendly policeman who let us try on his hat! Mr Yipadee and Alex Winter from CBeebies frankly failed to impress! We will however return again next year now we are initiated into the egg rolling tradition!