Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Year's Eve Regency Style

I would imagine that the elite of Regency society would celebrate the new year at their country estates, entertaining family and friends. As well as the usual card games, presumably there would be parlour games, too.

These are some of the antics that might have raised chaperones’ eyebrows.

Snapdragon involved placing raisins in a bowl of heated sherry and then setting on fire. The idea was to pluck the raisins out and eat them without getting burned. I can’t help wondering why!

Bouts-Rimees or Wit required participants to come up with impromptu rhymes. There was a list of rhyming words supplied and each player had to make up a verse to go with the words.

Charades has stood the test of time and requires no explanation.

I remember playing Blind Man’s Bluff as a kid myself, so that one’s endured, too. One member of the party is blind-folded and a member of the opposite sex sits on a chair. The blindfolded person used his or her hands to touch and feel the other person, trying to guess their identity. This is where I imagine the chaperones reaching for the smelling salts!

Le Baiser à la Capucine was a French kissing game. I assume that refers to the country of its origin and not the type of kiss delivered!

In party situations that old favourite Chess was sometimes livened up by playing for articles of clothing rather than money!

Anyone know of other games?
Happy New Year to you all.


Donna Heber said...

Hi Wendy,

You have lots of wonderful memories. I have never heard of Snapdragon. Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Wendy Soliman said...

I'd heard of Snapdragon but didn't know what it was until I started my research. Happy new year to you too, Donna.