"Clap, clap, I am asking for an egg for the children, on the parish'" CLAPPING FOR EGGS Hand in hand, children march Welsh streets, banging wooden clappers, asking for Easter treats. Chanting at doors ‘Can we please have an egg’? grinning broadly, as they each customarily beg. Shirts untucked, stained dresses, hair ruffled, around neighbourhood homes they’ve shuffled. ‘Who do you belong to?’ The occupants quizzed, ‘Give my regards to Mam, it’s good service you give’ Happily excited, but now exhausted and tired, the households, having awarded their desires. In their baskets, Easter treasures safely stored, eggs of various sizes and colours, as reward. Returning home with their gatherings of loot, Mom’s patted heads, praising her tired brood. Shoelaces slapping wearily on wooden floors, their Easter work done, now thank the Lord. Victoria Healing ~ 5.4.2020 EGG CLAPPING
Image: Claire Roige Photography- Family photographer in Swansea, South Wales.
If the family in the house knew these small children, knew their siblings, and some were missing, they would also give them an egg for those brothers or sisters.
Happy Easter Monday
in Welsh: Dydd Llun Pasg Hapus
Apparently egg clapping is a traditional Welsh thing, they prefer an Egg Clap to a Egg hunt.
The Welsh term for this custom is ‘Clapio Wyau’.
The translation is in other words for those who are being cared for on the parish – in the workhouse or receiving some benefits to support them. During the 19th Century, children would collect hen eggs from generous farmers to fill the family pantry for the Easter celebrations.
Trick or treat tradition revived
Clapping for Eggs
Even though I have Welsh ancestors, I had never heard of this tradition before. Unfortunately a lot of our Welsh customs have been lost over time. I’ve had to research the Welsh museums for this information. There is no reference to egg clapping in Wiki, only a practice called egg tapping which has been taken from Europe to other countries. This is the only similar reference that I could find: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_tapping It’s interesting to compare other countries festivals. These remind me of the old castanets we used to play in musical classes at school. I found an original image of these clappers in a Welsh historical group, who said that: ‘This clapper belonged to my Uncle Norman, must be nearly a hundred years old now’
Wales has many of its own traditions for celebrating Easter.