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Victorian Christmas Parlor Games Adults

Here is a list of some of the most popular Victorian Christmas parlor games for adults. Most of the Christmas traditions that we now take for granted today are the time of Victorian Era. These are the Victorian inventions: Christmas trees, Christmas carols, and Christmas stockings.

Before the 1840s, there was no existence of Christmas carols. Yet these are diverting in some ways but we have totally forgotten the most exciting as well as outrageous Victorian tradition.

Victorian Christmas Parlor Games
Parlour magic book

In the early years, when Queen Victoria used to rule, Christmas rivaled Spring Break not only for sheer bawdiness but also for self-destruction. And if you are looking for evidence to prove this then it is very clear in the bonkers Victorian parlor game of Snapdragon.

What were the Popular Christmas parlor games for adults during Victorian times?

Victorian Christmas games: Snapdragon

Snapdragon was traditionally played on Christmas Eve in which players must find themselves a broad and shallow bowl. They need to prepare themselves to risk their health. Two dozen raisins were used to pour in this bowl. Other materials such as almonds, plums, or grapes were added to suffice if raisins were hard to come by.

Then a bottle of brandy is poured into the bowl so that the raisins start bobbing up and down just like flies. What you need to do further is place the bowl on a table, switch off the lights, and then ignite the brandy with appropriate panache.

To play this game, you and the other players of the game need to sit around the blazing bowl so that their faces are lit up by the fire that you ignited in a demonic fashion. Then take your turn one by one. Try to grab a raisin by plunging your hands into the flames. If you are successful enough to accomplish this task then promptly extinguish the flaming raisin by popping it into your mouth and then eat it.

Victorian Christmas parlor games for adults: Flapdragon

For the steadfast Victorian, blistered hands, scorched palate and burned lips could only announce the Christmas morning. This game was so much fun and adored by people that it even had a non-seasonal variant which is named as Flapdragon. In this game, in a mug of ale, a lighted candle will be placed.

What participants need to do is to drink from the mug by not letting their beard, mustaches or hair set on fire. As Netflix is to milksop age in the same manner fire was to Victorian Era.

Victorian-era Christmas adult games: Blind Man’s Buff

Snapdragon was not the only offer on Christmas pursuit as Victorians were very harsh innovators when it came to painful drunken partying. Another game which was known as Blind Man’s Buff, is also played today in the form of water-down.

This game involves the one blindfolded player who will attempt to tag the others.  But as we discussed Victorians were relentless players so they played even a tougher version of this game.

Blind Man Buff

According to this game whatever comes in the way of Folks, they will tumble over it which causes many arms, legs, or heads to break. It was so painful that it is believed that this game was invented by ‘Country Bone Setters’ so that they could increase their business.

Questions and Commands

A game similar to Truth or Dare, that is, Questions and Commands was also played on Christmas Eve. If you fail to follow a command or answer any question then you need to pay a monetary fine or get your face blackened with the soot of fire.

Hoop and Hide

If anyone still has the energy to play then they could end their evening by playing Hoop and Hide, a game similar to Hide and Seek. It is just a way different than Hiding and seeking that anyone caught in or near the bed then the disputes will end in kissing.

The Christmas we celebrate is Victorian in nature but it is a far cry from the drunken, bruising, flaming, and terrifying festival of yore.

Look About

In the game look about. One of the players has to choose a small object and has to show it to others. Where everyone is asked to leave the room except for one of them. The object earlier chosen is then placed somewhere discreetly. It must be in such a way that is viewed but could be low or high.

After some minutes, other players are asked to return to the room and have to look around to find the hidden object. As and when they find it they have to sit down without telling where they actually found it. The game continues until the last player finds the object and then it’s his/her turn to hide it, and the game starts over again.

Squeak Piggy Squeak

Squeak Piggy Squeak is nothing else but a variation of Blind Man’s Buff

A player is selected to be a farmer. He is then blindfolded and sits on a pillow or a large cushion on the floor. The other players of the game (known as Piggies) are asked to sit in a circle around him. The player who is playing the farmer has spun around twice or thrice.

Victorian times Christmas Forfeits
Parlor game in Victorian Era

Taking the pillow, he then goes over to one of the players and put it on his lap. He must then sit on the pillow but without touching the piggy with his hands.

As and when the farmer sit down again, squashing the piggy, he must say If the farmer identifies the piggy, he must say “Squeak Piggy Squeak”, and the piggy beneath him then makes squeaking noises. And if the farmer identifies the piggy from the squeak then the player becomes the farmer.


The very popular game Charades of Victorian times was first mentioned by Charles Dickens and Jane Austin.

This game was considered a favorite of all other games in Victorian times for older children and adults. The game starts by thinking up a list of phrases or words which can be acted out. And then the players are divided into two groups or teams.

Squeak Piggy Squeak
Parlor game in a Victorian era

Each group is asked to take a turn acting out their phrase. Phrases and words can be broken into parts, no speaking is allowed and the person acting can use clues to make him/her team members understand.

Pass the Slipper

As the name says, the slipper would have been used for this game. But in Victorian times small items were used.

In the game, a circle is formed by all the players in which one of the players is asked to stand in the middle of the center formed by other players. It is mandatory for the player in the middle to close his eyes and as he does the slipper is passed from player to player behind his back.

And as the player in the middle opens his eyes, the passing of the slipper immediately stops and the player must guess who holds the slipper. If he is correct, they change places, otherwise, the player closes his eyes again and play continues.

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