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Pace Egging

A custom recorded in the North West of England. The eggs are dyed with onion skin or painted and the word Pace is thought to derive from the latin for Easter. Pace Egging is associated with a play which is equivalent to the Mummers plays elsewhere and sharing the characters of St George, Turkish Knight and Doctor. There is a different individual in the Pace Egging Play known as Old Tosspot who has a blackened face and collects gifts from the crowd. He traditionally has a straw tail stuffed with pins. The eggs are hard boiled before decoration.

In some places, Pace Eggs are rolled down local hillsides. Whether it is first to the bottom or furthest without cracking, no one really knows.

Pace Egg shells must be destroyed after use. Lancashire witches are reputed to use them as boats. This custom still persists today with ordinary breakfast eggshells which are broken through the bottom when empty.


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