To kick off our studies of the Winter Solstice, I have created this quiz with various questions related to the celebration of the holidays. See how many of the answers you know … No cheating and looking up the answers!
Don’t feel bad if you do not do so well on this quiz… we will be studying these various subjects over the next few weeks, and you will learn the answers as we go along!
1.) From what Latin phrase does the word “solstice” come from, and what does the phrase mean?
2.) Who is the Cailleach?
3.) What was the name of the ancient Roman festival from which many of our current holiday traditions come from?
4.) What was the name given to the plays or dances often performed in Britain and in some parts of the United States around the holiday season, which are based on ancient folk customs of enacting the rebirth of the year? (They are known by two different names, either one is acceptable)
5.) What was the name of the two ancient Pagan “kings” who fight each other at the Winter Solstice? Which one wins?
6.) What was the name of the three wise men who came to visit the Christ Child?
7.) What Greek sun god’s birth was celebrated at the time of the Winter Solstice, many years before the birth of Christ?
8.) What royal monarch is credited with helping to popularize the tradition of the Christmas Tree?
9.) A sprig from what type of tree which flowers around the Winter Solstice is traditionally placed on the breakfast table of the Queen of England every Christmas morning?
10.) What are the three sacred plants of the Winter Solstice?
11.) What “colorful” name is given to the Pagan character which is symbolic of the emergence from the death of Winter to the birth of new life in the Spring?
12.) What name is given to the item that is traditionally burned at the Winter solstice to honor the return of the sun, and as a reminder of the importance of fire and light?
13.) Who is the saint from which the character of Santa Claus is derived?
14.) What was the name of the little girl who asked if there really is a Santa Claus?
15.) What two birds represent the battle of light and dark which is one of the themes of the Winter Solstice, and which one gives its name to a group of young males, a “barbaric” custom, and a special day that symbolizes this ancient theme?
16.) What are the names of Santa’s reindeer?
17.) What is the official name for the Twelfth Night, which traditionally ends the Christmas season?
18.) Name the twelve gifts which are given in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”