• Imagining History

Christmas History Quiz Answers



Finished challenging yourself on our Christmas History Quiz? Alright, time to check your answers.


Question 1


What was the name of the Roman festival celebrating the Winter Solstice on the 17th to the 23rd December? Your options are:


A) Floralia

B) Vulcanalia

C) Saturnalia

D) Quinquatria


Saturnalia started as a short agricultural celebration for the Roman god of the harvest, Saturn. Later, the celebration expanded into a huge festival of revelry filled with drinking, feasting, gift giving and mischief.


Question 2


In Icelandic Christmas folklore, what animal was Jólakötturinn, the creature that would gobble up any children not given new clothes for Christmas? Your options are:


A) Dog

B) Wolf

C) Bear

D) Cat


Traditionally, Icelandic children who have finished all of their chores receive clothes as a reward. Jólakötturinn stalked the streets at night on Christmas eve searching for children who hadn’t done their chores. Any child who hadn’t received clothes for Christmas would get gobbled up by this enormous cat!


Question 3


In Norse Mythology, everybody and everything loved Baldur (god of light and war) and promised not to harm him. All except for one Christmassy item. What was this Christmas item that proved to be Baldur’s only weakness? Your options are:


A) Evergreen Trees

B) Poinsettia

C) Holly

D) Mistletoe


The other Norse gods had fun throwing everything they could at Baldur, thinking it was hilarious that nothing could harm him. But soon, the trickster god, Loki discovered Baldur’s weakness and made a spear out of mistletoe. Loki tricked one of the other gods, Hodr, into throwing the spear at Baldur. Hodr threw it and got a very unpleasant surprise when poor Baldur was pierced with the spear and died instantly.


Question 4


What Christmas tradition was said to be started by Martin Luther, a 16th century Protestant reformer in Germany? Your options are:


A) Christmas Trees

B) Christmas Cards

C) Kissing under the Mistletoe

D) Gift Giving


The story goes that Martin Luther was walking home one evening and saw the stars twinkling through the branches of an evergreen tree. He immediately went home to recreate the scene in his family home with candles placed on a tree.


Question 5


Which British Monarch made decorating a Christmas Tree into a popular fashion in 1846? Your options are:


A) Queen Elizabeth I

B) Queen Victoria

C) Queen Charlotte

D) Queen Elizabeth II


Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were pictured in the Illustrated London News standing around a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with their family. Bonus fun fact: although Queen Victoria made the Christmas tree popular, it was Queen Charlotte who first introduced the idea of putting up a Christmas tree to the people of Britain.


Question 6


What Christmas item did the Vikings supposedly set on fire and roll down a hill during their Yule celebrations in December? Your options are:


A) A Yule Tree

B) A Yule Log

C) A Yule Wreath

D) A Yule Reindeer


The Vikings would set a large wreath on fire then roll it down a hill like a wheel. Historians believe the Vikings did this to honour the sun and tempt it out to shine again in Spring.


Question 7


What does the old Christmas tradition of “Mummering” involve? Your options are:


A) Dressing up in costume and calling at your neighbour’s house

B) Singing Christmas carols with friends and family

C) Using hot spicy cider to help apple trees grow strong in the Spring

D) Hiding a sixpence in a Christmas Pudding


After dressing up in disguise, the Mummers would visit their neighbours. After being entertained by the Mummer with singing, dancing and jokes, the neighbour would have to guess who it was under the disguise.


Question 8


Why did the Ancient Egyptians celebrate the “birth of the sun of god” on the 25th December? Your options are:


A) This was when Osiris’ son Horus (god of the sky and ruler of the earth) was born

B) The Pharaoh (considered to be a god in mortal form) would always celebrate his birthday on this day

C) This was the date that the king of the gods, Amun, combined with the Egyptian sun god, Ra, to make the all-powerful deity known as Amun-Ra

D) After days of near darkness, the sun (known as the sun god, Ra) would finally rise above the horizon line


For three days prior to the 25th, the sun would be at its lowest point in the sky and was barely visible during the day. On the 25th, the sun would finally rise and the Egyptians would celebrate the re-birth of the sun god, Ra.


Question 9


In Norse Mythology, which god would fly across the sky on an eight-legged horse, delivering presents to children? Your options are:


A) Odin

B) Freyja

C) Thor

D) Baldur


Over the Winter Solstice, Odin would go on a wild hunt with his friends. He would fly through the sky on his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir and drop gifts into boots that children left by the fireplace for him.


Question 10


On Christmas Day, Elizabethan families would go outside to play sports. In one popular game, one person would take off their shoes and get chased around by the other players. What animal did they pretend to be when they were being chased? Your options are:


A) A donkey

B) A horse

C) A reindeer

D) A cow


This fun-filled game was called Shoe the Mare and the player being the horse would buck around like a horse to avoid being caught and “shoed” by the other players.


Click here to return to the quiz and find out your score and rating!


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