CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Hilaria Martinez moved to Corpus Christi from Mexico about three years ago, and has made selling cascarones an annual tradition.
"My sister and I work all year," she said in Spanish. "Everything is a process. I buy the eggs, wash them, dry them, cover them, and decorate them. I save them all year and keep them in a storage shed."
Martinez said she loves seeing the smiles on children's faces when they buy her cascarones, because she knows they will have fun with their family and friends.
"We will be here waiting for last-minute shoppers," she said. "We'll be here until Easter Sunday so that families can have their cascarones."
A cascarón is an egg emptied of its contents through a small opening at the top of the shell, washed, and dried. Once the eggshell has dried, it is filled with paper confetti and dyed or decorated like a traditional Easter egg.
People of all ages, mainly children, then crack the confetti-filled egg on another person's head during an Easter celebration.
People believe Marco Polo brought the tradition from Asia to both Spain and Mexico, but the exact origins of the ritual are unclear.
Some families see cascarones as the rebirth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and they've gained popularity in the United States — particularly in South Texas, and Mexican border towns.
This year, vendors are selling them again all over the region, along with the seasonal popular Easter bunny piñatas and flower baskets.
The Gonzalez family also has been selling cascarones and piñatas all week to families across the Coastal Bend for their upcoming Easter celebrations.
A family member brought over 50 piñatas and hundreds of dozens of cascarones from Mexico, and according to the family, the local sales have been steady.
"I have my daughter help me sell the eggs and piñatas," said Mrs. Gonzalez. "She is young, and she is able to move a little bit quicker when the crowds get big."
The Gonzalez family has set up their spot in the parking lot of the Trade Center, and the Martinez family will be located in the parking lot of Sutherland's all weekend.