25 December 2011

Christmas Quiz Answers

  1. When was the first Christmas card produced? As recently at 1846, when the Victorian concept of Christmas was being created.
  2. Who was responsible for the introduction of the Christmas tree to Britain? Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, who brought the German custom to England by installing a tree at Windsor Castle during Christmas.
  3. What are Cornish Fairings?  In the week after Christmas a 'maid-hiring' fair used to be held in Launceston, Cornwall, when ginger biscuits, sweetened with honey and coloured with saffron, were sold.
  4. When did the turkey become traditional fare for Christmas dinner?  An old jingle tells us that Turkeys, heresy, hops and beer,/Come into England all in one year. Not strictly true but by 1530 the bird was known in England.
  5. Where do turkeys originate?  In North America, where they exist in the wild.
  6. What fare was traditionally eaten on Christmas Day before the advent of turkey?  A boar's head, brought to the table with much ceremony. Swans and cranes also featured.
  7. What were the original ingredients of Christmas pudding?   Dating back to the Norman Conquest, the Christmas pudding, or girout as it was known, contained meat, herbs and plums.
  8. Why is mistletoe so much in evidence at Christmas time?  Sacred to the Druids and Scandinavians, it was believed to protect a house from lightning during the year to come.
  9. When was the Glastonbury thorn said to bloom?  The Glastonbury thorn, by legend grown from the staff of St Joseph of Arimathea which he set in the ground at the Somerset, was said to blossom each year at midnight on Twelfth Night.
  10. What is the origin of Boxing Day?  Servants and apprentices were allowed to collect money from the employers and these were put in a Christmas box, a name transferred to the gratuities given to postmen etc at Christmas time.
  11. When is the traditional time to make Seville orange marmalade?  The true Seville orange has a short season in January.
  12. Who said: 'He was a bold man who first ate an oyster'?  The Dean of St Patrick's, Dublin, Dr Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745).
  13. What are elvers?  The young of eels which are caught in the spring in vast quantities along the Severn and its tributaries.  Today, they are sold for immense sums.
  14. Did Elvis Presley ever visit Britain?  Yes, he spent two hours at Prestwick Airport, Scotland, in 1960.
  15. Why might huffcap, mad dog, angel's food and dragon's milk be considered bad for you?  They were all 16th century double strength beers which the London authorities tried to ban.
  16. What were dredge, maslin, berevechicorn and bollymong used for?  Cooking.  They were all crops grown in medieval England.
  17. What do King Canute and Jane Austin have in common?  They're both buried in Winchester Cathedral.
  18. How many magpies must be seen for a wedding?  One for anger, two for mirth, three for a wedding, four for a birth.
  19. When were bees supposed to hum the Hundredth Psalm?  On Christmas Eve in their hive in the same hour that cattle fell to their knees in the byre to adore the Child Jesus.
  20. Which bird is most closely associated with the Christmas Festival? The robin redbreast, one bird which has absolute trust in man and which, in winter, will even venture into houses in search of food.  

When Christmastide comes in like a bride,

With holly and ivy clad,

Twelve days in the year, much mirth and good Cheer,

In every household is had.

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