Folk Games

Patricia Newman – Halloween in Tijuana

Halloween in Tijuana is similar to Halloween in America; full of mischief and games. Trick or treating, dancing, and dressing up in costumes are only of few of things they do similar to America. While vandalism in America is common on Halloween, the teenagers in Tijuana play a game that consists of throwing eggs at each other.

There is no actual name for the game but it happens every year at the same time in the same place. The kids would save up their allowances for weeks and then spend all their money to stock up on cartons of eggs. Prior to midnight on Halloween night, the kids would organize and form up into groups of 4 or 5 so they all can fit into separate cars. There is an infamous road in downtown Tijuana known as Avenida Revolucion. This road is where all the action took place. The kids would drive up and down Avenida Revolucion identifying other kids’ cars who were there playing the game as well and then preceded to throw eggs at each other trying to make a mess. My Mom remembers one time when she was with some friends at midnight and they were in a convertible. All she remembers from the experience is the hours she spent afterwards cleaning the egg yolk and shells out of her hair as well as the many hours it took to clean the car. Retrospectively, it probably was not the best choice to go out and play this game in an open-topped car.

I asked her the reason why they played this game. She said it was to recognize the fact that they were still young and had the ability to have fun. I was surprised there was no intrinsic value to this game because normally there are religious or cultural meanings to games such as this at other times of the year. Even at Halloween there are cultural events that occur in Mexico. The Day of the Dead is a perfect example of this. However, in my Mother’s case, she played this game from the time she was old enough to be out on her own with friends until she left for college. These are the events from her childhood that identifies who she is as a Hispanic and a member of specific group of kids in Tijuana. She also uses memories such as this egg throwing game as a way to remember the good times she had with her friends as a mischievous kid growing up in Tijuana.