By Dr Navin Jayakumar
1. Name the kind of festive song that is associated with Christmas and is derived from an old French word meaning a ‘circle dance’?
2. Why is December 26, the day after Christmas, called Boxg inDay?
3. The most recorded Christmas song is White Christmas by Irving Berlin. It was sung by Bing Crosby in a 1942 film that gave its name to a world famous hotel chain. Name the movie.
4. If its ‘Merry Christmas’ in English, in which languages is it (a) Feliz Navidad, (b) Joyeux Noël, (c) Feliĉa Kristnasko?
5. This has been an annual gift to the people of Britain by the city of Oslo each year since 1947 as a token of gratitude for British support of Norway during the World War II. What is it?
6. He was a 4th century Greek Christian saint and the Bishop of Myra (part of modern-day Turkey) who had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, a practice celebrated on his feast day (December 6 in Western Christianity and December 19 in Eastern Christianity). Name this saint who, because of this activity, became the model for a well-loved figure?
7. This Christian festival is observed on the night of January 5. It gets its common name from the number of days after Christmas, when it is observed. It celebrates the coming of the Epiphany, the feat day that principally celebrates the visit of the Magi to see the infant Jesus. It is best known to us as the title of a comedy by William Shakespeare. Name the day.
8. Although The Bible does not mention their names, they are commonly referred to as Melchior, a Persian scholar; Caspar, an Indian scholar; and Balthazar, an Arabian scholar. How are they collectively known?
9. For what purpose did Band Aid — a charity supergroup featuring mainly British and Irish musicians and recording artists — record the song Do They Know It’s Christmas? It was announced on November 7, 2014 that a new version of the song will be recorded by artists under the name of Band Aid 30.
10. This word refers to a trough made of stone, wood, or metal that holds food for animals in a stable. The word comes from the French word meaning ‘to eat’. It is also a Christian symbol associated with ‘nativity’ where Mary, forced to stay in a stable instead of an inn, placed the baby Jesus in one such trough. What is the word?
1. Carol (from carole)
2. In England, servants and tradespeople would receive gifts known as a ‘Christmas box’ from their bosses or employers. Boxes of alms would also be opened on that day in churches and money distributed to the poor
3. Holiday Inn
4. (a) Spanish (b) French (c) Esperanto
5. The Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square
6. Saint Nicholas who became the model for Santa Claus
7. Twelfth Night
8. The Magi or the Three Wise Men who visited Bethlehem bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus.
9. To raise money for anti-poverty efforts in Ethiopia