Expert Christmas Trivia Quiz
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In Greek legend, malicious creatures called Kallikantzaroi sometimes play troublesome pranks at Christmas time. What should you do to get rid of them?
B) Burn either salt or an old shoe
C) Sing hymns in a loud voice
D) Throw your sandals at them
The merry lads of Yule
The jólasveinar, or “yule lads”, are a traditional part of an Icelandic Christmas. What are they?
B) In charge of Santa’s reindeer
D) The best male singers from each village
George Frederick Handel’s great Christmas oratorio, The Messiah, was first performed in 1742. Where did the performance take place?
Greetings and grumbles
The first commercial Christmas card is generally agreed to have been the one shown at the top of this page. The card had a hostile reception from some people. Why?
B) A mass-produced card was felt to violate the Christmas spirit
C) The ivy leaves bordering the design were once a pagan symbol
D) The card’s popularity raised fears of a paper shortage
Whence the poinsettia?
The poinsettia is a traditional Christmas flower. Where did it originally grow?
What’s in Caesar’s salad?
Some people like to hide a coin or trinket in the Christmas pudding. This may have originated in the ancient custom, in Rome and elsewhere, of concealing a particular object in food. What was it?
The merry Prangster
What important contribution to our Christmas customs was made by Louis Prang, who came to the USA from Germany in the 19th century?
B) Being first to use an image of Santa Claus in an advertisement
C) Publishing the first children’s book featuring Santa Claus
D) Popularizing the sending of printed Christmas cards
Christmas message, by George
One fairly modern Christmas ritual is the British monarch’s broadcast to the people on Christmas day. The first was given by George V in 1932. Who wrote the king’s speech?
Urning your keep
The “Urn of Fate” is part of the Christmas celebrations in many Italian households. What is it?
B) A game in which players toss coins into a cup
C) An actual urn containing presents
D) A special decoration that recalls the fragility of life
In Lithuania, if Kaledu Senelis, or Grandfather Christmas, appears to the children on Christmas Eve to hand out presents, the recipient must:
B) Guess what the gift is, or pay a forfeit
C) Kneel to receive the gift
D) Perform a song or poem before receiving the gift
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