Last weekend marked the 86th year of Fiesta “Old Spanish Days In Santa Barbara”; a celebration of colorful music, dance and song, together with a spirit of friendliness, hospitality and resilience. One of my favorite Fiesta traditions are the colorful confetti eggs you can purchase along the streets to break over someone’s head (not on it, that may hurt).

“Cascarón” Spanish for “egg-shell,” is believed to have been brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo. Originally filled with fragrant powder or a small amount of perfume, Renaissance men gave them to ladies as tokens of love.

Eventually cascarones made their way to Spain, and thence to Mexico, where confetti was used instead of powder for many celebrations as an affectionate gesture conveying wishes of cheer and good luck.