Tsougrisma | Egg Tapping Game

By Lemon & Olives
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Tsougrisma | Egg Tapping Game

Alright, it’s that time of the year again. Greeks get your eggs ready!

Okay, so what exactly are you talking about, Kenton? I’m talking about the age old Greek Easter game, where people will gather around the table and discuss their best techniques and someone gets yelled at for holding their egg too close to the top while letting someone else hit it. Yes, it’s an egg tapping game we call: Tsougrisma (τσούγκρισμα).

When I was younger, I remember my pappou (grandpa) going through all the dyed eggs searching for the right one – it’s a serious game folks.

How Does The Game Work?

Basically, everyone chooses their dyed egg, which is always red, representing the blood of Christ. If you’re wondering, there is no other color used, and Greeks don’t hide Easter eggs like you may find in the US and various parts of the world. However, this egg tapping game can be found in other countries as well.

Once everyone picked their egg, we normally had the eldest person go first. That person, in my family it was always my grandpa, would line up their egg with the second oldest person’s, and hit it – tip to tip. The hit had to be on the tip, and while there were many arguments about if the crack was justified, there would eventually be a winner.

So, each person takes turns hitting each other’s egg. If your egg breaks, you’re out. If it doesn’t you then hit the next person’s. The one his is left with an unbroken game is the winner and is said to have good luck the rest of the year!

Something we did, and I’m not too sure if this is traditional or what, but the winner would hold onto the egg and keep it in the fridge until the following Easter. It was like a good luck charm I suppose. Last year, I won (Jane came in second), and yes, it’s still in our fridge! Surviving a move and everything.

Dyeing The Easter Eggs

Last year, we did an organic route. We used beets. They didn’t come out really dark, but it served a purpose.

We juiced 6 beets and placed some hard boiled eggs in and let it sit for about an hour.

This year? Well, we just bought the dye that you can find at the store. We had to buy a few packs as we only needed the red tablet. Next year we want to try the onion dye, which is supposed to make nice red eggs.

To complete your Greek Easter experience, make sure you bake some fresh tsoureki and the delicious butter cookie, Koulourakia.

You could also cook up some lamb recipes like Lamb Chops or Baked Lamb With Oregano

Happy Easter (Καλό Πάσχα – Kalo Pasha) from Jane and I!

About the author

Lemon & Olives is a husband and wife team exploring the Mediterranean (Diet) Lifestyle, Greek foods, Greek Culture, History and all things Greece.

4 thoughts on “Tsougrisma | Egg Tapping Game”

  1. I thought you might like to know that we used to play the same game, here in the north east of England, over 40 years ago when I was a child. My aunts, uncles and cousins used to meet at my maternal grandparent’s house and we all brought different coloured eggs. We called the game jarping and I recall that my older cousins always used to win. That didn’t matter, however, what did matter was that all the family met to celebrate Easter.

  2. We play every Easter, I am Greek, my husband is not. I introduced the game into our family as I played every Greek Easter. I just changed one thing different from my family, the winner receives a med. size plastic egg, I use every year , filled with candy, or whatever, but I always put about $30 in as well. So Tsourgrisma game .. Big deal at Easter!! Plus of course the Good Luck!

  3. It’s been awhile since I played TSOUGRISMA, that is cracked a good egg, and I truly miss it. Both my grandparents arrived from the “old country” and their traditions were carried on. My parents also preserved the egg game and I couldn’t wait to be the winner. I never was and to this day I think the WINNER held the champion egg a little too tight. However, as time has progressed, my ex-wife didn’t like the Greek ideas and we divorced. I tried to instill as much of the Greek culture with my two sons, but her Jewish faith was overwhelming. Now I visit my brother’s home and this Easter we most certainly will carry on the tradition TSOUGARISMA for the grandchildren. Thanks Kenton for the inspiration you have given to a lot of us reading your wonderful Greek recipes.

  4. Oh my, we play this game with the red dyed eggs every Easter. This is something everyone looks forward to, not just the kids!!


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