For the third and final post in our Christmas traditions series, we’re talking about snap-dragons. No, not the flower.
Snap-dragons (which is really more of a New Year’s tradition for us) is an old parlour game most popular (according to Wikipedia, at any rate) from the 16th through 19th centuries.
As with all ancient folk rituals there are innumerable variations. In our family’s tradition, you hide coins on a silver platter covered raisins, and then pour brandy over it and (in a darkened room) set the whole thing alight. Children gather around the platter attempting to snatch as many coins as possible from the blazing inferno.
I don’t know where the coins come into the traditionâ€”other references I’ve found (like Wikipedia and this) just talk about collecting the raisins. By the time we’ve collected all the coins, the brandy is usually burned off and then we eat the extra-tasty raisins!