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Easter in Italy
Part 4 of 5: Egg-stra Special
The meal doesn't usually end so abruptly. Often, young children recite poems or stories that they learned in school. Although there is no Easter bunny in Italy, they usually receive a gift for their performances. The traditional present is a large chocolate egg wrapped in foil and stuffed with a surprise inside - often a toy or a little knapsack. Couples are especially keen on giving each other one of these eggs. And many artisans will actually design and make a personalized chocolate egg for you - and they'll stuff it with a present that you've chosen for your other half. Love, sweet, love!
After lunch, many children pick up the hardboiled eggs, usually dyed maroon with red onion skins. The purpose of the two-player game is to see whose egg is strongest. One child taps her egg against that of her opponent. The one with a cracked egg is out, and the winner goes onto the next person with an egg. My Nonno Giovanni was particularly fond of this tradition, and he was known for cheating. Sometimes, he'd sneak in a wooden egg that looked remarkably like the other ones. Beware!
Part 1: A Spiritual Experience
Part 2: A Religious Experience
Part 3: The Holiday for Taking Holiday
Part 4: Egg-stra Special
Part 5: The Next Day
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