Egg Ritual


Subject: Ritual, Superstition


Informant: Tye Griffith


Background Information/Context: Growing up, I had a nanny who helped raise me, and who had been working in my family since before I was born. Her name is Eva, and she is from Monterrey, Mexico. Eva also worked as a nanny for a close family friend of mine, Tye. Tye and I essentially grew up together, and had the connection of Eva, who I feel linked our two families together even closer. Recently, I was remembering how when I was little and my parents would be either out to dinner or on vacation, Eva would stay with me. But when it was my bedtime, Eva had a very specific ritual she would perform while tucking me into bed. I didn’t remember the specific details of the ritual, other than it involved an egg that she would hover over my head and recite some sort of prayer. I reached out to Tye, knowing that Eva had done this same ritual with her when she was also younger.


This was Tye’s memory of the egg ritual:


Tye: Eva would get an egg from the fridge downstairs and rub the egg in different patterns across the body while saying a bunch of prayers. And then she would crack it into a clear glass and put it under the bed. The egg would stay there all night while you slept, and in the morning, you would check the bowl, and it would be completely black inside the bowl. Like a black goop. Ew, that sounds really gross when you say it out loud [laughs]. But it would be black in the morning because of all the bad spirits that came out of your body during the night.


And then you had to throw the egg out onto the street in the morning. The room wouldn’t smell though.


Me: Wait, would the whole room not smell like a rotten egg in the morning? [laughs] How is that even possible?


Tye: Magic! [laughs].


Conclusion: I was happy that Tye remembered a little more about it than I did, and having her tell me what she knew really jogged my memory. I was still curious about what Eva was saying during the ritual, so I thought about it for a while. I finally remembered a line from the prayer she recited: “Padre nuestro, que estás en el cielo.” So, I Googled that one line, and as it turns out, that was the first line to a Spanish prayer called “El Santo Rosario.” I read the prayer online, and it all came back to me. Eva would have me say the prayer every night when she was with me. The whole prayer reads,


Padre nuestro, que estás en el cielo,

Santificado sea tu nombre;

Venga a nosotros tu reino;

Hágase tu voluntad en la tierra,

Como en el cielo.

Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;

Perdona nuestras ofensas,

Como también nosotros perdonamos a los que ofenden;

No nos dejes caer en la tentación,

Y líbranos del mal.



The text of this prayer comes from an excerpt from the book Oración del Enfermo. However, in this book, the prayer is referred to as “Padrenuestro,” instead of “El Santo Rosario,” but it is the same text as the Santo Rosario prayer. Upon further reflection, this prayer is actually the Spanish version of The Lord’s Prayer, but I never connected the two, as I did not grow up in a particularly religious household. The only significant religious practices that I grew up with came from Eva, which were all in the Spanish language. I knew of The Lord’s Prayer in English, but I never made the connection until now, because the Spanish version was so much more prevalent in my life.


[1] Cadena, Alvaro Jiménez. La Oración del Enfermo: ¡Señor, tu Amigo está Enfermo! Bogotá: Ediciones Paulinas, 1991. Print.