Quiz about Christmas Traditions
Quiz about Christmas Traditions

Take this Christmas Traditions Quiz! Average Trivia | Seasonal


Why do we put up lights during the holidays? Why is hanging mistletoe over a doorway an invitation to kiss? The answers to these and other questions await you if you take this quiz.

A multiple-choice quiz by nmerr. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
nmerr
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
355,291
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2731
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: lunamoth54 (8/10), Guest 24 (6/10), Guest 71 (0/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which evergreen plant has long been associated with Christmas? Hint

Fern
Mistletoe
Agave
Aloe Vera

2. Church history records that the first candy canes were given to children by a choirmaster to keep them quiet in their seats during church services. In which country did this occur? Hint

England
Germany
France
Switzerland

3. Which German monk and important figure of the Protestant Reformation was the first to decorate Christmas trees with candles? Hint

Luther Martin
John Knox
John Calvin
Martin Luther

4. Which Christmas song is sometimes said to have been created as a teaching tool for children to learn about the Catholic faith? Hint

The First Noel
C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
In Dulci Jubilo
The Twelve Days of Christmas

5. The practice of hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel did not originate with the Christmas holiday. The tradition began with a fourth-century priest who lived in an area that is now Turkey. What is his name? Hint

Nicholas
Daniel
Ambrose
Stephen

6. Christmas movies have been a part of the holidays for many years. We each have our favorites, perhaps more than one. Can you spot the film that takes place during the Christmas season from the following movie titles? Hint

An Affair To Remember
The Bishop's Wife
Holiday (Hepburn and Grant)
Winter Winds

7. George Handel composed one of the greatest oratorios of all time, the "Messiah". There has long been a tradition for audiences to stand during the "Hallelujah Chorus". Do you know why this is? Hint

It is written to do so in the score
Out of reverence
King George II stood when he first heard it
It is so stirring one simply must stand

8. In England, Australia, New Zealand and Canada a time-honored tradition takes place on December 26. Do you know the name for that holiday? Hint

Observance Day
Boxing Day
Gifting Day
All Saints Day

9. In Latin this word means "coming". For Christians it's the four weeks leading up to Christmas. What is it called? Hint

Apocrypha
Administration
Advent
Admonishment

10. The burning of Yule Logs is an ancient tradition. Its origins are based in which culture? Hint

Roman
Teutonic
Norse
Greek


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which evergreen plant has long been associated with Christmas?

Answer: Mistletoe

The name "mistletoe" comes from the second century Anglo-Saxon word "misteltan." "Mistel" in Old English means dung and "tan" means twig. Because the plant grows in harsh climates yet comes back faithfully every year, early Christians believed that mistletoe symbolized God's love and purpose for mankind. Scandinavian warriors would stop fighting in the middle of battle in a gesture of peace if they found themselves standing under a mistletoe-bearing tree. Those long-ago messages of peace and love have morphed into what we now celebrate as a romantic gesture of love: kissing under the mistletoe.
2. Church history records that the first candy canes were given to children by a choirmaster to keep them quiet in their seats during church services. In which country did this occur?

Answer: Germany

The year was 1670 and the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral needed to find a way to keep the children in the choir quiet during long services. He came up with the idea of offering a candy treat instead of using the usual form of punishment,the switch. Bending the sticks to resemble a shepherd's crook was symbolic and pleased the church officials. Oliver Cromwell had banned religious celebrations in England during his rule.

In defiance, one confectioner decided to add three red stripes to the white candy to represent the Holy Trinity.

Another legend suggests that the crook of the cane is really an upside-down letter J, for Jesus.
3. Which German monk and important figure of the Protestant Reformation was the first to decorate Christmas trees with candles?

Answer: Martin Luther

The idea of placing Christmas lights on the tree originated with placing candles in candle holders on tree branches. Of course, the tree candles were dangerous and a constant hazard. One of Thomas Edison's employees, Edward Johnson, used Edison's own invention to create electric lights for his Christmas tree.

It wasn't until much later that the idea of using lightbulbs instead of candles took hold. At first only the wealthiest families could afford the lights. In 1924, the General Electric and Westinghouse companies produced strings of lights that were affordable for everyone.

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of the annual tree-lighting ceremony on the White House lawn.
4. Which Christmas song is sometimes said to have been created as a teaching tool for children to learn about the Catholic faith?

Answer: The Twelve Days of Christmas

Teaching the Catholic faith was outlawed in sixteenth century England. Doing so would result in being drawn and quartered. Clerics came up with the idea to create songs that would seem innocent enough but really taught children, albeit in a simple way, about their faith. Those twelve days were more than a teaching tool.

It was a time for renewal and rededication for those of other denominations as well as a time for giving small gifts to children. Even during the Dark Ages some Eastern European churches used the twelve days as an opportunity to attend daily church services.
5. The practice of hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel did not originate with the Christmas holiday. The tradition began with a fourth-century priest who lived in an area that is now Turkey. What is his name?

Answer: Nicholas

The hanging of stockings over the fireplace was born of necessity. Poor people usually had only one pair of socks to wear and hand-washing them and hanging them to dry was a necessary chore. When Nicholas, who came from wealth, heard about the plight of a very poor man with three daughters, he took it upon himself to help the family. Without money for dowries, girls in those days had no chance of marriage. Nicholas slipped a gold coin in the stocking of each girl in turn, enabling the father to provide dowries for his daughters. December 6 is St. Nicholas's Day, the date of his death. That day is still celebrated in many countries.
6. Christmas movies have been a part of the holidays for many years. We each have our favorites, perhaps more than one. Can you spot the film that takes place during the Christmas season from the following movie titles?

Answer: The Bishop's Wife

"The Bishop's Wife" is one of my all-time favorite films. It stars Cary Grant in the role of an angel sent to rescue a bishop (David Niven) who needs a helpful reminder about the important things in life. The bishop's wife, beautifully played by Loretta Young, is really the heart of the film. Despite the title, it is a tender and touching Christmas movie.
7. George Handel composed one of the greatest oratorios of all time, the "Messiah". There has long been a tradition for audiences to stand during the "Hallelujah Chorus". Do you know why this is?

Answer: King George II stood when he first heard it

Handel was down-and-out by the time he composed the "Messiah." Impoverished and in bad health, he was given an opportunity to compose a score to accompany a libretto that an old acquaintance had written. When King George II was invited to a "Messiah" performance he was so moved by the oratorio's message that he stood during the "Hallelujah Chorus." Since the King was standing everybody else stood up. Thus the tradition of standing during this section of Handel's "Messiah" was born.
8. In England, Australia, New Zealand and Canada a time-honored tradition takes place on December 26. Do you know the name for that holiday?

Answer: Boxing Day

Boxing Day has nothing to do with pugilism. Its origin goes back to the Middle Ages and is tied to St. Stephen. Metal boxes were set up outside the entrances to churches as of means of gathering donations in honor of this early apostle who was murdered for his Christian beliefs.

The boxes became receptacles for church-goers to place alms for the poor in honor of St. Stephen. Centuries later it became a tradition for wealthy families to provide year-end bonuses, usually money, to the household help. Boxing Day gained status as a fully recognized holiday by Queen Victoria.

While Americans don't formally celebrate Boxing Day, many generously donate gifts and money to charities during the holiday season.
9. In Latin this word means "coming". For Christians it's the four weeks leading up to Christmas. What is it called?

Answer: Advent

In preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, many Christians observe the weeks of Advent as a period of personal growth and reflection. It begins on the Sunday closest to November 30 and continues until Christmas Eve. The message of the Advent has changed somewhat over the years. To early Christians it had three different meanings.

The first was the coming of Christ in human form as a baby in a cradle. The second was the acceptance of Christ into the hearts, minds, and actions of those who believed in Him.

The third was the future coming of Christ when He returns to earth as a king. Nowadays many families observe Advent by hanging advent calendars in their homes or burning advent candles in preparation for Christmas. I still hang advent calendars in my home each Christmas, a tradition my mother started when my children were little.
10. The burning of Yule Logs is an ancient tradition. Its origins are based in which culture?

Answer: Norse

The word "yule" comes from the Norse word "jul" which means wheel. Perhaps the Vikings viewed the passing of the seasons as a wheel slowly turning. They initially used the burning of the Yule log to celebrate the winter solstice. Carrying a log from the forest back to the village to burn was symbolic of driving away evil spirits. Over time world cultures developed their own rituals tied to the burning of the log.

In the 18th century, the French did away with the Yule log as such, and it became buche de Noel, a log-shaped cake served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve at a dinner called Le Reveillon.
Source: Author nmerr

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