A Christmas Quiz

Nativity, by Botticelli, from Wikimedia
1: What is Christmas? (Choose the best answer.)
  1. It is the Easter Bunny's birthday.
  2. It is Santa Claus's birtday.
  3. It is Saint Nicholas's birthday.
  4. It is the birthday of Jesus Christ.
  5. It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

 2. When is Christmas?
  1. It's on December the 24th.
  2. It's on December the 25th.
  3. It's on January 1st.
  4. It's on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

3. When is Christmas Eve?
  1. It's on December the 24th.
  2. It's on December the 25th.
  3. It's on December 31st.
  4. by Jorge Barrios, from Wikimedia
  5. It's on the first Saturday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

4: What is the meaning of the Christmas tree?
  1. It represents eternal life.
  2. It means different things to different people.
  3. It was borrowed from ancient Germanic and Druid traditions.
  4. It is a place to put presents under.
  5. All of the above. 

5: When was Jesus Christ born?
  1. He was born on December the 25th.
  2. He was born on April 6th.
  3. He was born on January 6th.
  4. He was born in August or September.
  5. People do not agree about when he was born.
Leaf disc dedicated to Sol Invictus
in holdings of the British Museum
image from WikiMedia

6: Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?
  1. The date was calculated from assumptions about events in the Bible.
  2. The date was borrowed from a religion that worshiped a sun god born on December 25th.
  3. It was chosen because it was close to winter solstice.
  4. The Roman Emperor declared it to be the official birthday of Jesus Christ.
  5. (A), (B), and (C) above.

Iced Christmas Cake
by Martin Belam
from Wikimedia

7: What does "Christmas" mean?
  1. It's the name of a kind of cake.
  2. It means we must remember Saint Nicholas.
  3. It is the "mass", or solemn festival of Jesus Christ.
  4. It means Jesus' birthday. 
  5. It's how much a fir tree weighs.
  6. It means, "Fir trees must increase."

St. Nicholas
from Saint Catherine's Monastery
via Wikimedia

8: Who brings presents to children in December?
  1. Santa Claus does.
  2. The Christ Child does.
  3. Father Christmas does.
  4. Saint Nicholas does.
  5. Sinterklaas does.
  6. All of the above.

9: When is Christmas in Australia and New Zealand?
  1. In fall.
  2. In winter.
  3. In spring.
  4. In summer.
  5. In autumn.
  6. All year long.

10: What do Americans do on Christmas Eve?
  1. Go on dates with their special girlfriends or boyfriends.
  2. Visit the families of their special girlfriends or boyfriends.
  3. Go to Church for religious services.
  4. Go to Church for a Christmas party or dance.
  5. Stay home with their families.
  6. Work overtime.
  7. Different people do different things at different times.



1: (E). See #5.

2: (B), although it varies in some traditions.

3: (A). (The evening before Christmas.)

4: (E). Fir trees are common elements of many religions and traditions, but had no particular meaning in early Christianity.

5: (E). There is no record of the actual date. According to some people, the accounts in the Bible indicate a date in late summer or early fall. Other people suggest a date in spring. The arguments for winter are considered rather weak.

6: (E). Although there is no record of the date, there are many records of arguments about the date, and of the official declaration of the state religion by Emperor Constantine.

7: (C): "Christ Mass".

8: (F).
  1. Santa Claus is a common tradition around the world.
  2. The Christ Child (Christkind) is a German and Austrian tradition.
  3. Father Christmas is a tradition in the UK.
  4. Saint Nicholas is a tradition in much of Europe, and the origin of Santa Claus.
  5. Sinterklaas is a tradition in Holland and Belgium. The red suit he wears is the origin of Santa's red suit.
  6. There are many more similar traditions in many countries.
9: (B). December is summer in the southern hemisphere. However, some people do try to remember the Christmas spirit all year long.

10: (G). The most common thing is to try to spend time with family.

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