Global Christmas Trivia

Posted by: Pandora

Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 02:14 PM

-1. In the Ukraine, what does it mean if you find a spider web in the house on Christmas morning?
-2. In many households, part of the fun of eating Christmas pudding is finding a trinket that predicts your fortune for the coming year. For instance, finding a coin means you will become wealthy. What will you be if you find a button?
-3. If you were given some frumenty at a Medieval Christmas party, what would you probably do with it?
-4. Which well-known author of fantasy fiction also created a book called The Father Christmas Letters?
-5. In Sweden, a common Christmas decoration is the Julbukk, a small figurine of a goat. Of what material is it usually made?
-6. What is the Irish custom of "feeding the wren" or "hunting the wren" on December 26?
-7. All through the Christmas season in old England, "lambswool" could be found in the houses of the well-to-do. What was it?
-8. In Greek legend, malicious creatures called Kallikantzaroi sometimes play troublesome pranks at Christmas time. What should you do to get rid of them?
-9. The jólasveinar, or "yule lads", are a traditional part of an Icelandic Christmas. What are they?
-10. The poinsettia is a traditional Christmas flower. In what country did it originally grow?
-11. The "Urn of Fate" is part of the Christmas celebrations in many Italian households. What is it?
-12. In Lithuania, if Kaledu Senelis, or Grandfather Christmas, appears to the children on Christmas Eve to hand out presents, what must the recipient do?

Posted by: Rushes

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 02:41 PM

2. Gaping open at the midriff. razz12

I don't know the true answers to any of these without cheating. lol12
Posted by: FrkBrok

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 02:43 PM

5. straw

(not hay - the thicker one that horses and cows stand on)

Posted by: Sondi

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 03:41 PM

3. A family friend made this on Christmas years ago(a decade or so after Medieval times grin12) It had rice and raisins in it - and we ate it.

Posted by: michele rose

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 03:41 PM

10. Mexico santa
Posted by: Haroula

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 04:15 PM

8.Burn either salt or an old shoe snicker wave12
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 04:22 PM

Rushes, makes sense but not correct. lol12

All of the other answers are right! Below is a more detailed answer for each, in case you're interested. smile12

3. Frumenty was a spiced porridge, enjoyed by both rich and poor. It was a forerunner of modern Christmas puddings. It is linked in legend to the Celtic god Dagda, who stirred a porridge made up of all the good things of the earth.

5. Straw. Scandinavian Christmas festivities feature a variety of straw decorations in the form of stars, angels, hearts and other shapes, as well as the Julbukk.

8. Burn salt or an old shoe. The pungent burning stench drives off, or at least helps discourage, the Kallikantzaroi. Other techniques include hanging a pig's jawbone by the door and keeping a large fire so they can't sneak down the chimney.

10. Mexico. In Mexico, the poinsettia is known as the "Flower of the Holy Night". It was brought to America by the diplomat Joel Poinsett in 1829. Among other accomplishments, Poinsett also played an important part in founding the Smithsonian Institution.
Posted by: GBC

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 06:46 PM

7. A drink of hot ale with nutmeg and apples floating. (a spiced cider)
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/19/12 09:19 PM

Yes, Gail! smile12

"Lambswool" was the drink that filled the wassail bowl. Sugar, eggs and spices were added to hot ale, and toast floated on top with the apples. Poor people would bring their mugs to the door hoping for a share of the steaming drink.
Posted by: LadyKestrel

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/20/12 12:46 AM

6. On St. Stephen's Day, the wren boys carry a wren around in a cage and sing for money to either feed the wren or bury it, depending on it's state. We have a recording of the song by the Clancy Brothers, and my husband just sang part of it for me. wink12
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/20/12 09:16 AM

Correct! smile12

One explanation for this St. Stephen's day custom refers to a legend in which the saint was given away by a chattering wren while hiding from his enemies. Children cage the wren to help it do penance for this misdeed. Often the children carry a long pole with a holly bush at the top - which is supposed to hide a captured wren. An artificial wren may also be used.
Posted by: Flo NS

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/20/12 05:09 PM

2. One source says you will be famous, another source says you will remain a spinster or bachelor.
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/20/12 05:13 PM

Mine said bachelor, but I'm sure there are those who believe famous. smile12

A ring means you will get married; while a thimble predicts spinsterhood. The idea of hiding something in the pudding comes from the tradition in the Middle Ages of hiding a bean in a cake that was served on Twelfth Night. Whoever found the bean became "king" for the rest of the night.
Posted by: Koala

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/20/12 09:16 PM

4. J. R. R. Tolkien

Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/20/12 10:44 PM

Yes, Koala! smile12

The Father Christmas Letters consists of letters written to the Tolkien children by Father Christmas. It was published in 1976. The illustrated letters describe adventures and events at the North Pole.
Posted by: Haroula

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/21/12 01:32 PM

1.Good luck wave12
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/21/12 03:30 PM

Yes, Haroula! wave12

There once lived a woman so poor, says a Ukrainian folk tale, that she could not afford Christmas decorations for her family. One Christmas morning, she awoke to find that spiders had trimmed her children's tree with their webs. When the morning sun shone on them, the webs turned to silver and gold. An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees
Posted by: Flo NS

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/26/12 02:05 AM

9. Santa Clauses

11.The Urn of Fate, an old Italian tradition, is a large ornamental bowl that holds wrapped gifts for members of the family. When the family gets together, each member takes his turn at
drawing a gift from the urn until all the presents are distributed.

12. To perform by reciting a poem, singing, dancing or playing an instrument.
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/26/12 09:02 AM

Good answers, Flo! I want more for #9 but you're spot on with the other two. smile12

11. The Urn of Fate is brought out on Christmas Eve. It holds a wrapped present for everyone. The mother tries her luck first, then the others in turn. If you get a present with your name on it, you keep it; otherwise, you put it back and try again.

12. The gifts are usually given after the traditional Christmas feast of twelve meatless dishes, which itself does not begin until the first star appears. Each diner at this special meal - the Kucios - must at least sample each of the dishes.
Posted by: Flo NS

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/26/12 10:08 AM

9. The Yule Lads originate from Icelandic folklore. Early on their number and depictions varied greatly depending on location, with each individual Lad ranging from mere pranksters to homicidal monsters who eat children.

In 1932 the poem "Jólasveinarnir" was published as a part of the popular poetry book "Jólin Koma" ("Christmas Arrives") by Icelandic poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum. The poem reintroduced Icelandic society to Icelandic Yuletide folklore and established what is now considered the 'official' thirteen Yule Lads, their personalities and connection to other folkloric characters.

The Yule Lads were originally portrayed as being mischievous, or even criminal, pranksters that would steal from, or in other way harass the population (at the time mostly rural farmers). They all had descriptive names that conveyed their modus operandi.

The Yule Lads are traditionally said to be the sons of the mountain-dwelling trolls Grýla and Leppalúði. Additionally, the Yule Lads are often depicted with the Yule Cat, a beast that, according to folklore, eats children that don't receive new clothes in time for Christmas.

In modern times the Yule Lads have been depicted as taking on a more benevolent role comparable to Santa Claus and other related figures and putting small gifts (or potatoes if the child has misbehaved) into shoes placed by children into their windows the last thirteen nights before Christmas Eve. They are occasionally depicted as wearing the costume traditionally worn by Santa Claus, but are otherwise generally shown wearing late medieval style Icelandic clothing.

The Yule lads are said to "come to town" during the last 13 nights before Christmas, each staying for two weeks before departing. Below are the 'official' thirteen Yule Lads in the order they arrive (and depart).

Intersting stuff.
Posted by: Pandora

Re: Global Christmas Trivia - 12/26/12 10:47 AM

A++ for you, Flo! Yes, very interesting stuff. wave12