Get your thinking cap on for our bumper festive quiz
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS?
1. Christmas is a compound word originating from which term?
2. The elements of which Roman feast are included in the celebration of the Christmas period?
3. Irenaeus in his work “Adversus Haereses” identified the conception of Jesus as the 25th March and thus December 25th became his birthday. Was this in the 2nd Century, 4th C, 8th C or 10th C?
4. In which Century did the earliest Christmas hymns first appear, 3rd C, 4th C, 5th C or 6th C?
5. In which year did the Puritans ban Christmas in England, was it in 1642, 1647, 1652, or 1657?
6. The Christmas celebrations were later restored by which Monarch?
7. In which year was the first Christmas card introduced, was it 1840, 1842, 1845, 1847?
8. What year were the first electric Christmas Tree lights used, was it 1893, 1896, 1900 or 1904?
9. In which year did Unicef produce the first charity Christmas card, was it 1947, 1949, 1951 or 1954?
10. Which Christmas Day custom in the armed forces dates back through the middle Ages to the Romans?
A SELECTION BOX OF CHRISTMAS TRIVIA
1. What were the names of the three wise men?
2. What were the gifts that they presented to the newborn baby Jesus?
3. What was the name of the King who ordered the murder of infants?
4. How many reindeer does Santa have?
5. Clement C Moore wrote which famous poem about Christmas?
6. In which country did the real St Nicholas live? Was it in Germany, Russia, Turkey or Norway?
7. Robert Louis Stevenson who died on December 4, 1894 left what in his will to a friend who disliked having her birthday on Christmas Day?
8. which British monarch was the first to have a Christmas tree?
9. What is the name given to the four week period before Christmas?
10. How high was the tallest Christmas tree erected in America in 1950, was it 200ft, 215ft, 225ft or 235ft? Give or take a few inches.
HOW GOOD ARE YOU ON YOUR CHRISTMAS FILMS?
1. Name these two all-time favourite festive films. One was made in 1947 and starred Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, the other hit screens a year earlier and featured James Stewart as George Bailey.
2. In which film did the song “White Christmas” make its debut?
3. Which of the films that are about the Christmas holiday period has grossed the most money at the box office?
4. Which computer animated film set at Christmas time is the top money making film of its kind at the box office?
5. Which actor played Clarence in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
6. Who stole Christmas in 2000?
7. In which film did Judy Garland sing the song “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”?
8. The film “The Snowman” gave us the song “Walking in the Air” but who sang the song on the soundtrack?
9. Which actor starred as one of Santa’s biggest helpers in the film “Elf”?
10. Who starred as Scrooge in the Muppets Christmas Carol?
CAN YOU GUESS THE CHRISTMAS CAROL?
The following lines are from the first verse of which carols?
1. “No crib for his bed”
2. “When we are gone astray”
3. “From angels bending near the earth”
4. “God and sinners reconciled”
5. “Sleep in heavenly peace”
6. “The hopes and fears of all the years”
7. “All seated on the ground”
8. “In fields where they lay keeping their sheep”
9. “Field and fountain moor and mountain.”
10. “In a manger for his bed.”
A LOOK AT CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD
1. In what year was Eastern Europe permitted to celebrate Christmas freely for the first time in decades?
2. In Italy who delivers the presents to children on Christmas Eve, a kindly witch, a kindly wizard or Santa Claus?
3. In Syria instead of the reindeer and Santa which animal distributes the gifts to the children?
4. In which oceans are the two Islands that bear the name of Christmas?
5. In Eastern Europe Christmas can be celebrated on two dates, one being 25th December in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, but which date corresponds with the date of Christmas according to the Julian calendar? Is it the 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th?
6. Christmas in Japan is popularly celebrated by eating in which well known food chain restaurants?
7. Which popular beach in Sydney holds many Christmas barbecues?
8. If you were in Rio de Janeiro how would you wish someone Merry Christmas? Would you say, Buon natale, Feliz Navidad, Boas Festas or Felices Pasquas?
9. Which food is often used in the traditional main course of the Christmas meal in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia?
10. The Pohutukawa Tree with its crimson flowers is the Christmas tree in which country of the Southern hemisphere?
SOME FOR THE YOUNG (AND YOUNG AT HEART)
1. in Italy what would naughty children get in their stocking instead of a present?
2. What sort of play is usually put on at this time in schools?
3. In the song Twelve days of Christmas, how many Lords were leaping?
4. What would you be riding in the song “Jingle Bells”?
5. What partners holly in the Christmas Carol?
6. Which soft drink firm first used Santa to advertise their drink?
7. What brought “Frosty the Snowman” to life in the story? Was it magic snow, pixie dust, an old silk hat or a kiss?
8. Stockings are used by children in this country for their presents but what do Dutch children use instead?
9. In the film “Home Alone” what is the name of the boy who is left home alone?
10. How many sides does a snowflake have? Is it 6, 8, 10 or 12?
CAN YOU REMEMBER THESE FESTIVE HITS?
1. “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma” topped the charts in Christmas 1980. But who sang it?
2. Which non-festive song, a cover version, kept The Pogues and Kirsty McColl’s “Fairytale of New York” off the top spot in 1987?
3. Which of the these well-known festive hits won the race to Christmas number one in 1985 – Wham’s “Last Christmas” or Shakin’ Stevens’ “Merry Christmas Everyone”?
4. Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” raised millions for those suffering the effects of famine in Ethiopia in 1984, and again in 1989. It was re-recorded twice more. But in which years?
5. A well-proportioned character from TV’s “Noel’s House Party”, presented by Noel Edmonds, secured the festive number one in 1993. What was his name?
6. Who are the only act in chart history to have had four Christmas number ones?
7. Who were “Lonely This Christmas” in 1974?
8. Cliff Richard was at number one for Christmas in 1988 with “Mistletoe and Wine”. He also held the festive top slot in 1990, what was the song called?
9. Which all-girl group recorded three consecutive Christmas number ones?
10. The Christmas number one spot has been dominated in recent years by contestants from which TV talent show?
ANSWERS: The History of Christmas. 1. Christ’s Mass. 2. Saturnalia. 3. In the 2nd Century. 4. In the 4th Century. It was written by Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, titled Veni Redemptor Gentium. 5. 1647. Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. 6. Charles II after he re-established himself on the throne. 7. 1842. According to records it was on December 9, 1842. 8. 1896. 9. 1949. 10. The custom that the officers wait on the men and serve them dinner. Christmas Trivia. 1. Balthazar, Caspar and Melchior. 2. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. 3. Herod. 4. Nine. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and, of course, Rudolf. 5. “A Visit from St Nicholas” which is more generally known by its first line which is, “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Give yourself a bonus point if you said A Visit from St Nicholas. 6. Turkey. 7. His own birthday on November 13. 8. George III. It is generally perceived that Queen Victoria was the first, but George’s wife Charlotte persuaded him to have one. It was in 1832 that the future Queen Victoria wrote about her delight at having a Christmas tree. On becoming Queen she popularised the custom and it became widespread. 9. Advent. 10. 235ft. Christmas Films. 1. Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life. 2. Holiday Inn. 3. Home Alone (1990). This film grossed more than $477m worldwide and though some polls say otherwise it is classed as a Christmas movie. The film with Christmas in the title is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which grossed more than $260m. 4. The Polar Express. 5. Henry Travers. 6. The Grinch. 7. Meet Me in St Louis. 8. Peter Auty. It was three years later (1985) that Aled Jones released the single that made it to number five in the charts. 9. Will Ferrell. 10. Michael Caine. Christmas Carols. 1. Away in a Manger. 2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. 3. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. 4. Hark the Herald Angels Sing. 5. Silent Night. 6. O Little Town of Bethlehem. 7. While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks. 8. The First Noel. 9. We Three Kings. 10. Once in Royal David’s City. Christmas Around the World. 1. 1989. 2. A Kindly witch, known as La Befana. According to legend, she was asked by the three wise men to visit the baby Jesus. She said she was too busy but then changed her mind and was too late as he had gone. Every Christmas Eve she goes out searching for the “Holy child” and leaves presents for each household. 3. Camel, it is said to be one of the three wise men’s camels. 4. Pacific and Indian. 5. January 7. 6. KFC. They have to book well in advance, it is so popular. 7. Bondi. 8. Boas Festas. 9. Fish. 10. New Zealand. Some for the Young. 1. A lump of coal. 2. A Nativity Play. 3. 10. 4. A one horse open sleigh. 5. Ivy. 6. Coca Cola. 7. An old silk hat. 8. Shoes. 9. Kevin. 10. 6. Festive hits. 1. St Winifred’s School Choir. 2. The Pet Shop Boys’ cover of Elvis Presley’s You Are Always On My Mind. 3. Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone. 4. 2004 and 2014. 5. Mr Blobby. 6. The Beatles. They were I Want To Hold Your Hand (1963), I Feel Fine” (1964), Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out (1965) and Hello, Goodbye (1967). 7. Mud. 8. Saviour’s Day. 9. The Spice Girls with 2 Become 1 (1996), Too Much (1997) and Goodbye (1998). 10. The X Factor.