History of Christmas

Can you answer these questions about the history of Christmas?
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: December 13, 2017
First submittedDecember 12, 2017
Times taken13,663
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Question
Answer
In what country did the tradition of Christmas trees begin?
Germany
What English queen popularized Christmas trees in Great Britain?
Queen Victoria
What Christmas story by Charles Dickens was published in 1843?
A Christmas Carol
Who was the main character in that story?
Ebenezer Scrooge
What two-word Christmas greeting was popularized by that story?
Merry Christmas
What holiday greeting is commonly used in the U.S. as a "politically correct"
version of the above?
Happy Holidays
What holiday was celebrated by Germanic pagans around the time of Christmas?
Yule
What bawdy Roman holiday, presided over by a "Lord of Misrule",
was celebrated from December 17–23?
Saturnalia
What astrological observance did ancient Romans observe on December 25th?
The Winter Solstice
Who was the Lord Protector of England when Christmas was banned in the 1640s?
Oliver Cromwell
What group of people outlawed Christmas in Massachusetts in the 1600s?
The Puritans
What country banned Christmas during a fit of revolutionary ferver in the late 1700s?
France
What gift-giving saint is Santa Claus based on?
St. Nicholas
The name Santa Claus is a derivation of Sinterklaas. What language is Sinterklaas from?
Dutch
What great Frankish king was crowned emperor on Christmas Day, 800 A.D.?
Charlemagne
What saint's feast day is celebrated on December 26th or 27th?
St. Stephen
What feast day occurs on January 6th, twelve days after Christmas?
Epiphany /
Twelfth Night
What singer's 1942 rendition of "White Christmas" has sold over 100 million copies?
Bing Crosby
Who wrote "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" in 1957?
Dr. Seuss
What Protestant reformer wrote a few Christmas hymns - but not "Away in a Manger"?
Martin Luther
+4
Level 73
Dec 12, 2017
Leaving aside the obvious dearth of questions about the person whose birth Christmas celebrates, two other issues:

Epiphany is January 6.

The feast of St. Stephen is December 26, and the feast of St. John the Apostle is December 27. You probably have Stephen for both because Eastern Christians celebrate his feast on December 27. Maybe add John as another type-in?

+6
Level 82
Dec 17, 2017
but this is a history of Christmas quiz and the person you are referencing has nothing to do with that...
+1
Level 50
Dec 17, 2017
I agree, the name Christmas is so insensitive to people who want to sell things around that time of year but have no interest in who the celebration is for. The name should have been changed and when that soft-drink company told us what colours santa should wear.
+7
Level 82
Dec 17, 2017
Historically... going back far enough... the celebration was not for Jesus. It's a pagan holiday dressed up as a Roman Catholic one. Jesus certainly didn't celebrate Christmas. None of his disciples did. No early Christians (1st century) did. Though the holiday was being celebrated at the time it just was definitely not a Jewish or Christian holiday. Later on, as mentioned in the quiz, Christmas has been outlawed by many practicing Christians who were aware of the holiday's tenuous connection to the religion.

Anyway the holiday is not "for" anyone. It might mean different things to different people but realistically it's just the celebration of the winter solstice and those traditions stretch back to long before Christ was born.

+13
Level 77
Dec 18, 2017
You mean Jesus didn't celebrate his own birth and put up a Christmas tree and get presents from Santa? I find that very hard to believe and it goes against my beliefs. Were you there? Do you know for sure that Joseph and Mary didn't have a Christmas Tree? Haven't you read the bible?
+4
Level 82
Dec 19, 2017
I might have skimmed over that part.
+3
Level 78
Dec 17, 2017
I only guessed the saint's feast day from the Christmas carol, "Good King Wenceslaus looked out on the feast of Stephen..."
+1
Level 60
Feb 17, 2018
I thought it was "on his feets uneven."
+1
Level 75
Jan 15, 2020
APHill: do you mean this guy -

Born on Christmas Day

+2
Level 81
Dec 12, 2017
2nd occurence of Sinterklaas is misspelled. And what about Season's Greetings for a politically correct Merry Christmas?
+2
Level ∞
Dec 12, 2017
Fixed
+4
Level 69
Jul 9, 2020
Happy Holidays was used long before there was any PC crap. Andy Williams had a hit song in the early 60's entitled "Happy Holidays". Most folks use HH because they encompass the whole season which includes New Years and Hannukah.
+1
Level 49
Jan 5, 2021
What bothers me about it is that "the holiday season" is the summer, surely...
+6
Level 75
Dec 13, 2017
Epiphany type ins: Three Kings Day, Orthodox Christmas, Los Reyes.
+1
Level 71
Dec 20, 2017
But Orthodox Christmas is January 7th. And if Quizmaster was for some reason going to accept the Spanish name for Three Kings Day, it would be Día de los Reyes Magos", not just "Los Reyes".
+5
Level 76
Dec 9, 2018
I've always known it as Three Kings Day. Please accept this as a type-in. I really enjoyed this quiz by the way, even though I usually avoid Xmas like the plague!
+18
Level 45
Dec 16, 2017
did anyone else try Bah Humbug for 2 word greeting made popular in a Christmas carol
+3
Level 50
Dec 17, 2017
Yep. I actually didn't know the origins of this most common season greeting.
+2
Level 78
Dec 17, 2017
I tried it first then immediately felt like Scrooge for doing so.
+3
Level 75
Dec 17, 2017
Yep! I still prefer "Bah Humbug", lol.
+4
Level 37
Dec 17, 2017
Kalbahamut is absolutely correct! Christmas is a pagan holiday, and Christ did not order his apostles to celebrate his birth. Besides, he wasn't even born in December, but in October/late September.
+2
Level 75
Sep 21, 2018
Or, according to other sources, around half a year earlier during summer.
+3
Level 64
Sep 24, 2018
Nobody knows what time of year Jesus was actually born. We don't have any evidence and it doesn't say in the Bible (although the Bible isn't an accurate account of Jesus' life in many other respects).
+3
Level 37
Sep 8, 2019
TWM03: Jesus was arrested, tried and executed when he was 33 and a half years old. His arrest occurred almost immediately after he celebrated the Jewish Passover with his apostles. The Jewish Passover is typically celebrated in April or late March. Counting six months from April brings you to October and counting six months from March brings you to September. Therefore, he was born in either of those two months.
+4
Level 69
Feb 22, 2020
Please show us in the Bible or other historical texts where it says Jesus was crucified at age 33 1/2.
+4
Level 63
Dec 24, 2020
Or, indeed, if he was actually born. The historicity of Jesus is up for debate, and there's no conclusive evidence either way.
+1
Level 49
Jan 5, 2021
As far as I remember, the winter solstice was co-opted by early(ish) Christians on the basis of it being symbolic of Jesus' bringing light into the world. I don't think anyone ever had any idea of it being actually the anniversary of his birth. Just as Good Friday isn't the anniversary of his death, otherwise we'd have to believe that the anniversary is on a different day each year... But the fact that it's not his actual anniversary doesn't mean Christmas isn't, at least partly, a celebration his birth. That's a bit like saying that England has nothing to do with the English because the Ancient Britons were there first.
+1
Level 29
Dec 17, 2017
i got the first bunch and though it would be easy but them i only got like another quarter very good quiz though.
+2
Level 53
Oct 30, 2019
Yule came before Christmas and is celebrated on either the 21st or 22nd of December. If you asked a viking celebrating Yule what Christmas was, they'd be very confused.
+4
Level 72
Nov 15, 2019
lol I tried Bah Humbug at first
+1
Level 62
May 3, 2020
Sinterklaas is the real OG
+2
Level 46
Dec 24, 2020
Oliver Cromwell was not Lord Protector in the 1640s. He became so in 1653.
+1
Level 73
Dec 24, 2020
'Fervour' is spelt incorrectly as 'ferver' in the twelfth question.
+7
Level 57
Dec 24, 2020
Happy holidays isn't a 'politically correct' version of Merry Christmas, it's been used in conjunction with the other phrase for years and years. I mean I'm pretty sure we all know the Bing Crosby song by the same name that was a massive Christmas hit before PC was even a term on anyone's radar. Framing it as a pc alternative seems revisionist.
+2
Level 46
Dec 24, 2020
Yeah, I literally never knew it was supposed to be "politically correct" until this year. I thought it was just interchangeable with Merry Christmas
+5
Level 66
Dec 24, 2020
This is correct. It only became politically correct because people who make a lot of money off sowing discord turned it into a rallying point. Like those stupid fights over Starbucks cups. Very sad to see. I think the clue is fine though, because now it is perceived as political correctness.
+3
Level 77
Dec 24, 2020
"Happy Holidays" being portrayed as a politically correct version of "Merry Christmas" is simply wrong. As as been said, the phrase was in use long before political correctness was a thing. There are like 3821 different holidays celebrated at the same time of year. "Happy Holidays" acknowledges that, acknowledges that the speaker doesn't know the listener's religious beliefs, and wishes them well regardless of what those beliefs are. It is a distinctly different and more inclusive phrase. I know this could be seen as nitpicky, but I'd change the clue. Maybe "What all-encompassing holiday greeting commonly used in the U.S. includes the above?" Or "What holiday greeting popularized by the 1930s has recently been rebranded by some as a "politically correct" version of the above?"
+2
Level 67
Dec 24, 2020
I think the clue is fine as is. I completely agree with you, but also the clue already has the term "politically correct" in quotation marks, implying "Happy Holidays" is common perceived as PC when it actually isn't.

In a similar vein though, couldn't "Merry Xmas" also work as a "politically correct" version of "Merry Christmas"?

+1
Level 57
Dec 26, 2020
I second this. Your last suggestion would be best in my opinion.
+2
Level 62
Dec 24, 2020
I don't see why you call the Saturnalia "bawdy"? Is it so bawdy for the patricians to serve their slaves for one day?
+3
Level 66
Dec 24, 2020
Obviously you don't know the unique feeling of regret you get after waking up and realizing you slept with your coworker after the office Saturnalia party.
+2
Level 62
Dec 25, 2020
In Austria there is a saying: "If you remember what happened at a party, you weren't there."
+5
Level 72
Dec 24, 2020
Merry Christmas to all Jet Punk members, family and friends.
+3
Level 59
Dec 24, 2020
Merry Christmas! But shouldn't it be "fervor" (or fervour) rather than ferver?
+2
Level 48
Dec 25, 2020
How did I not get Dr. Seuss?
+1
Level 45
Dec 27, 2020
The language barrier is sometimes so annoying! English isn’t my first language, so I know St. Stephen as Tapani and on January 6th we celebrate loppiainen. But I had no idea what those are in English