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Old Maids Day is June 4

Updated on June 18, 2013

Old Maid's Day is June 4

Old Maid Day is a wacky holiday celebrated on June 4th. "Old Maid" brings back memories of the fun children's card game that elicited giggles and squeals when I was growing up. I remembered being mortified when I was stuck with the "Old Maid."

"Old Maid" also refers to an unmarried and childless woman who has passed her child-bearing age. The kinder term would be a "spinster" often depicted as a lonely lady living in seclusion, who is prissy, repressed, cranky, and surrounded by pet cats. Some end up becoming caregivers of their family, relatives and friends.

In these modern days, the term "old maid" and "spinster" are considered demeaning and are rarely used. Modern women are single by choice, independent and self-sufficient, date men, and are just contented being unmarried.

Old Maid's day is a call to all single women and unmarried women to get together, celebrate and party. It is also a great day to celebrate the game of "Old Maid."

Intro photo is from my personal deck of Old Maid game card - Bakerwoman

Origin of Old Maids Card Game

The origin of the game of Old Maid is unknown, but versions of this game were played in the 17th century bar halls. The loser of the game would have to pay for the drinks.

There are many variants of the "Old Maid" card game all over the world. The rules are similar where whoever gets stuck with the unmatched odd card, whether it be the king, queen, joker or old maid is the loser.

How to play 'Old Maid'

The game of Old Maid is very easy to play and is a fun and educational game for children from 4 years old and up. Any standard 52-deck card can be used with 3 queens removed so the lone Queen will be the Old Maid. However, a vintage deck of card of Old Maid makes the game more fun with the exaggerated cartoonish characters. Different Old Maid cards have different themes, like fairy tales, circus performers, etc.

The goal of the game is to remove pairs of same cards from your hand and not to be left with the Old Maid card. The player left with the Old Maid card loses.

Get your kids classic card game of Old Maid and have a blast with your friends - There is suspense, laughter, and lots of clean fun

There are 34 cards and one Old Maid (center)

There are 34 cards and one Old Maid (center)
There are 34 cards and one Old Maid (center)

Rules of the "Old Maid" card game - Remove matching pairs from your hand

1. Number of players: 2-6

2. Pick a dealer. The dealer deals all the cards to all the players. One player will have an extra card.

3. Discard pairs of cards that have the same pictures.

4. The dealer offers the player to his/her left his/her cards face-down. The player picks one card and adds it to his/her hand and discards any matching pair.

5. The player who just selected a card then offers his hand face-down to the person to his/her left, and so on in a counterclockwise fashion.

Continue discarding matching pairs of cards until all players have no cards except one player who is stuck with the "Old Maid."

6. The player with the one unmatchable "Old Maid" is the loser.

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Have you ever played the game of "Old Maid" or a variant?

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Let the fun begin with these "Old Maid" cards - Nothing beats the traditional Old Maid deck of cards

The cartoonish characters make these cards delightful and fun to play for young and adults. This children's card game has been around for over a 100 years and still going strong.

Cheatwell Games Bygone Days Old Maid Card Games
Cheatwell Games Bygone Days Old Maid Card Games

Nothing beats a game of Old Maid with the 1905 illustrated edition of the dreaded grumpy old spinster. This is the classic card game that we used to play when we were kids.

eeBoo Old Maid Playing Cards
eeBoo Old Maid Playing Cards

This updated Old Mail deck of card is perfect for kids and adults, laminated for longevity, slightly bigger, with beautiful artwork. The modern day version is delightful and pleasant-looking unlike the cranky old spinster game cards.

Old Maid (Kids Classics Card Games)
Old Maid (Kids Classics Card Games)

Nobody want to be stuck with The Old Buzzard card. So let the fun game begin with this hilarious version of the classic children's game.

Old Maid Card Game (Brighter Child Flash Cards)
Old Maid Card Game (Brighter Child Flash Cards)

Educational and fun while teaching the littles ones ( pre-school to grade 5) word recognition and association with the respective pictures. A great way to develop social skills, taking turns, and decision-making.


Origin of "Old Maids Day"

Another reason to celebrate June 4

The tradition of celebrating "Old Maids Day" may have started after World War I and WWII where many soldiers did not return home and many of the ladies lost their love ones to war. In 1933, droves of unmarried women celebrated on St. Catherine's Day, the patron saint of old maids, in Paris, France to meet the single menfolk in dances.

Old Maids Day may have started in the United States after 1945 after WWII where small towns and communities held socials and dances for the single ladies left behind by the soldiers who were killed in the war. This also gave an opportunity to the soldiers who made it home to meet their future wives.

Vintage movies portray Old Maids or spinsters in a different light

Victorian old Maid had illegitimate child - Had to suffer all her life to hide this secret

Old Maid
Old Maid

The Old Maid is a 1939 movie about two cousins Charlotte (Bette Davis) and Delia (Miriam Hopkins) who love the same man, Clem. But Delia is engaged to Clem but decides to marry a wealthier man so she can have a lovely home and a family. Clem shows up on Delia's wedding day to find out he has been passed over for someone else. He is livid with hurt and anger. Charlotte comforts him that evening. Clem leaves for the army, and Charlotte finds herself pregnant and bears his love child, Clementina (Tina for short). Charlotte opens a home for war orphans to hide Tina as one of the foundlings. Clem is killed in the war. Charlotte is to be married to Delia's cousin and plans to tell her groom about her love life. However, on her wedding day, Charlotte confesses to Delia that her daughter Tina is really the illegitimate child of Clem, Delia's former beau. Delia feels betrayed and jealous and lies to Charlotte's groom-to-be that Charlotte cannot go on with the wedding because of ill health. Delia adopts Tina to give her a name and so she can marry well. In the meantime, Charlotte ages looking every bit like a bitter and broken-hearted old maid while Delia remains radiant and young. The old maid has to endure being called Aunt Charlotte by her own daughter, Tina, and watch Delia play mother to the daughter she cannot hug or love as her own.


Beautiful tribute to the movie "The Old Maid"

Celine Dion'e song "All By Myself" resonates the hurt, sadness and loneliness that Charlotte's felt throughout the movie.

Spinster socialite duped by a gigolo

The Heiress (Universal Cinema Classics)
The Heiress (Universal Cinema Classics)

Olivia de Havilland plays a naive, homely and dowdy socialite spinster who grew up with a controlling father and is courted by a handsome gold digger and gigolo, Montgomery Clift.


Doting spinster relegated to be a caregiver

Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
Now, Voyager (Keepcase)

In Now, Voyager (1942) Bette Davies plays Charlotte Vale, an overweight and unattractive spinster who is verbally and emotionally abused by her overbearing mother, an aristocratic Boston dowager. She is then rescued by her sister-in-law and helped by a psychologist Claude overcome her lack of self-confidence. She goes through a dramatic makover and is sent out on her own to see the world without her mother for the first time. Charlotte meets Paul Henreid, a very much married and understanding man, helping his child whose mother is just as overbearing as Charlotte's.


Spinster in Africa

The African Queen
The African Queen

Katherine Hepburn plays a staight-laced spinster who lives with her missionary brother in Africa before the onset of WWI. She ends up alone on a steamboat on a river with a gin-swilling and uncouth captain (Humphrey Bogart) who was dead set on blowing up a German ship.


American spinster finds love in Venice, Italy - Summertime fling

Summertime (The Criterion Collection)
Summertime (The Criterion Collection)

American spinster Jane Hudson (Katherine Hepburn) travels the world solo, ends up in Venice, and is romanced by a swarthy and married Italian Renato (Rossano Brazzi). Self-assured, funny and charming, Jane grabs the opportunity for a romantic summertime fling before she returns to her lonely and sad life as an aging, unmarried woman.


Librarian spinster

The Music Man (Special Edition)
The Music Man (Special Edition)

In this musical, Shirley Jones plays the part of a piano-teaching spinster librarian (Marian Paroo) who is wooed by a glib-tongued con artist and traveling band salesman, Prof. Harold Hill (Robert Preston). He promises to give every town he visits a "boys' band", but takes the money and runs. He meets an old partner, Marcellus Washburn in Rivercity, Iowa and became trapped in his own world of deception and misadventures and begins to fall for the spinster librarian.


Charles Dicken's wealthy spinster jilted by her groom - Bitter until the end

Great Expectations (Great Illustrated Classics)
Great Expectations (Great Illustrated Classics)

Miss Havisham is a vindictive wealthy spinster who was once jilted by her groom-to-be named Compeyson a few minutes before her wedding. She never took off her wedding gown and floats around her crumbling mansion in her tattered trousseau looking waxen and as pale as a ghost. She is described by Dickens as the 'witch of the place', conniving to break men's hearts through her adopted daughter, Estella, to avenge her broken heart.

This Great Illustrated Classic is easy to read version of Charles DIcken's novel for a 13 year old and up.


Listen to the Old Maid's Song - Usually sang by men

DIY for spinsterhood

How to be a Modern Day Spinster

Do you think it is wacky to celebrate Old Maid Day? What about a game of Old Maid? - Let me know you stopped by

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      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      Heck, I celebrate it every day! Blessed.