Anyone fancy a game of Snapdragon?

Day 15 of our Heritage Advent Calendar brings our penultimate visit to Chambers’ Book of Days, and with it an entry we recommend you DO NOT try at home.  Today we’re looking at one party game in particular, Snap Dragon.  We’ll let Chambers explain in his own words.

Robert Chambers ‘The Book of Day: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography, & History, Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character.’ Vol. 2 (1864)

“A quantity of raisins are deposited in a large dish or bowl (the broader and shallower this is, the better), and brandy or some other spirit is poured over the fruit and ignited.  The bystanders now endeavour, by turns, to grasp a raisin, by plunging their hands through the flames; and as this is somewhat of an arduous feat, requiring both courage and rapidity of action, a considerable amount of laughter and merriment is evoked at the expense of the unsuccessful competitors.  As an appropriate accompaniment we introduce here”

“The Song of the Snapdragon

“Here he come with flaming bowl,

Don’t he mean to take his toll,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

With his blue and lapping tongue

Many of you will be stung,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

For he snaps at all that comes

Snatching at his feast of plums,

Snip! Snap! Dragon!

Don’t ‘ee fear him, be but bold-

Out he goes, his flames are cold,

Snip! Snap! Dragon”

Again, please do not try this at home.  See you tomorrow for a less dangerous Advent entry.

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