With this unusual Christmas quiz, you can test what your family and friends really know about the festive season: how do people around the world celebrate Christmas? Do you know the craziest customs and traditions around the globe?
Presents under the Christmas tree, going to church on Christmas Eve and then to the gift-giving ceremony, roast goose or duck on Christmas Day – most people know and practise these and similar Christmas customs. Many people also know from films and television that in Great Britain and the USA the presents are not unwrapped until the morning of Christmas Day. But how is Christmas actually celebrated in the Philippines, Mexico, Greenland or Ethiopia?
This unusual Christmas quiz is about the most beautiful and the most bizarre Christmas traditions worldwide. It is ideal as a programme item for a Christmas party with friends or colleagues or as a cosy Christmas game with the family. And even some Christmas experts will learn some amazing facts about how differently people all over the world celebrate Christmas.
The complete unusual Christmas quiz with all questions and answers is also available free as a PDF download!
1. In the Mexican city of Oaxaca, there is already a big celebration on 23 December. And that is that the Spaniards have introduced a very special plant for Christmas. This plant is then used to carve elaborate church figures such as Mary, Joseph, the Magi and, of course, the baby Jesus. Which plant do you think it is?
2. Christmas season is nowhere in the world as long as in the Philippines, where 90% of the population are Catholics and take the Feast of the Conception of Christ very seriously – including daily morning masses at 3:00am from mid-December! How long is the traditional Christmas season in the Philippines?
a) Over 4 months: from September to mid-January.
b) 3 months: October, November, December
c) 2 months: from the 1st of Advent until the end of January
d) 6 weeks: from 1 December to mid-January.
3. In Estonia, children get lots of sweets during Advent – from little gnomes and gnomes! Another tradition requires that all brooms in the house must be well cleaned before Christmas. What could be the reason?
a) In case the Christmas tree gets stuck in the chimney, people politely want to push it through with a clean broom.
b) There are Christmas witches around who want to steal children’s presents, but luckily they can only fly on dirty brooms and get away.
c) A dirty broom turns into a mischievous gnarled root man at Christmas.
d) The Christmas elves sleep on the brooms, they want to make a clean bed for them.
4. In Venezuela, a special tradition has become established, especially in the capital Caracas, for which car traffic is even stopped until 8:00 a.m. on 25 December. Whole families then set off for morning mass, but how?
a) They dance exuberantly like at carnival
b) They ride to mass on roller skates
c) they ride in huge horse-drawn carriages that can carry many people
d) they cycle
5. In Ukraine, the Christmas tree is adorned with a very unusual decoration. Which one?
a) all crocheted baby shoes
b) Garlands made of dried mushrooms, rose hips and wooden apples
c) A spider’s web
d) small dried fish
6. The Catalans have a particularly idiosyncratic Christmas custom: the Tió de Nadal, a wooden log on two legs with a colourful face painted on it and covered with a blanket stands in Catalan living rooms from 8 December to Christmas Eve. What happens to it?
a) During this time, the log is “fed” with fruit, nuts and sweets, which are slipped under the cloth. On Christmas Eve, the children beat the log with pieces and sing a song in which the line “Shit, Tió” appears several times verbatim, so that the log shits out its treasures again.
b) The log is considered a prefiguration of the Christ Child. On Christmas night, the parents exchange it for the baby Jesus through the manger and the children are told that the Tió de Nadal has turned into it.
c) The Tió de Nadal is said to absorb all evil spirits in the run-up to Christmas and is ceremoniously burnt in the fireplace on Christmas Eve.
d) The Tió de Nadal represents the spirit of Christmas and on Christmas Eve the father of the family splits it with an axe so that it can spread everywhere. Every member of the family and every visitor during the Christmas season receives a splinter.
7. In Iceland, according to legend, Jólakötturinn, the big black Jul cat, goes around during the Christmas days. Who targets this beast?
a) naughty children
b) unmarried women
c) stingy old people
d) men who have neglected to get new clothes for Christmas.
8. In the USA, Santa Claus drives his reindeer sleigh and climbs into the house through the chimney with his bulging gift bag. So that the reindeer are also rewarded, many American families place pieces of sugar for them on the doorstep. And there is also something whimsical hanging on the Christmas tree. What is it?
a) USA flags
b) A donut
c) A photo of the current American president
d) A glass cucumber
9. In Russia, they celebrate Christmas on 7 January. From 6 to 18 January, a crazy custom has taken hold at Christmas in recent years. Which one?
a) Single women call strange men, whoever picks up is the future husband.
b) Single men challenge women to a drinking contest. If she wins, he gets to kiss her.
c) Single women hang a pretty garter on the front door. If a man takes it off and rings the doorbell, he gets a date with her after 2 days.
d) Engaged couples get baby things from their friends.
10. Although less than 1% of Japanese are Christians, almost everyone celebrates Christmas. Thanks to a very successful advertising campaign, one of the most popular Christmas foods in Japan is...?
a) Pizza from Pizza Hut
b) A “Party Barrel” from Kentucky Fried Chicken
c) A burger menu from McDonalds
d) A Subway baguette
11. In Australia there is an Oktoberfest and many customs that look very familiar. How do Australians celebrate Christmas?
a) With a Barbie (Barbeque) in a bikini and swimming trunks on the beach.
b) With a Cake Fight – a cake fight with a cake made of meringue with fruits and cream.
c) After the Christmas Parade, there is a gigantic Christmas fireworks display in Sydney and Melbourne
d) The Santa Clauses of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra compete against each other in a surfing contest.
12. In the UK, Christmas pudding is traditionally cooked at Christmas. There is one particular custom, which is?
a) The Christmas pudding is cooked in complete darkness and only revealed on Christmas Day.
b) Each family member must stir clockwise once and may make a wish in their mind, which will then come true.
c) Only products that have been given as gifts can be used in the Christmas pudding.
d) The sweet pudding is not eaten as a dessert, but as a starter before the main course.
13 Ethiopian Christians do not celebrate Christmas until 7 January. After a 43-day fasting period, Christmas in Ethiopia is celebrated with a large feast. What else belongs to the Ethiopian Christmas celebration?
a) The men and boys play ganna, a hockey-like game with sticks and a small ball.
b) All the furniture in the house is moved and left like that until next Christmas.
c) They tell jokes to each other in turn.
d) People build towers out of the pita bread Injera, as high as possible.
14. In Guatemala, on the evening of 7 December, many fires are seen burning in front of family houses, in the streets and in squares? What is this all about?
a) The fires are to celebrate the arrival of the Christmas angels.
b) Families burn old clothes and junk in the fires to free themselves from their past at Christmas.
c) The fires are small pyres on which devil dolls are burnt.
d) It is believed that from these fires the voices of deceased ancestors can be heard coming to earth at Christmas time.
15. A particularly morbid custom at Christmas time comes from Wales: there, a procession is still held in some villages today, which goes back to Celtic rites. Which figure is at the centre of it?
a) A man dressed as a hunchbacked giant parades through the village and punishes naughty children.
b) A witch with a pumpkin face collects money for charitable purposes.
c) A figure wrapped in a white cloth with a horse’s skull for a head goes from house to house asking for food and drink.
d) A man dressed in black pulls an empty coffin behind him on a cart as a memorial to the deceased of the year.
You can find the correct answers here in the PDF version of the unusual Christmas quiz!
We hope you have fun with our unusual Christmas quiz and wish you a happy holiday season!
But while you’re here, take a look at our tips for Christmas games and Christmas crafts with kids. You’ll also find lots of ideas for activities with friends, as a couple or with the family, as well as gift tips, regardless of the season.
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