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Somerset Egg Shackling

21st Feb 2023

An Interesting Shrove Tuesday Tradition

Shrove Tuesday is always the day preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), so like Easter, it is a moveable feast a la Easter. One item not allowed during Lent was eggs, so unsurprisingly the humble egg became the centre of a cracking Shrovetide custom, ‘Egg Shackling’. This involved schoolchildren electing a committee and judge to adjudicate on the biggest, tiniest, brownest, and whitest egg before the aforementioned eggs were put through their paces in a sieve with a whole lot. There’s a whole lot of shaking going on! The egg that survived the longest without cracking won top prize. It seems only 3 primary schools in Somerset keep the tradition going.

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