The Big Southern Cross Christmas Quiz!
25 questions to test your Christmas knowledge! Compiled by Günther Simmermacher
1 In which country was the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” written 200 years ago?
a) Austria b) Germany c) Hungary
2 On which date do Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas?
a) December 24 b) January 7 c) January 19
3 In St Matthew’s genealogy, of whom was Joseph, the husband of Mary, begotten?
a) Jacob b) Josiah c) Judah
4 According to the Christmas classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life, what happens every time a bell rings?
a) an angel gets his wings
b) a child is born
c) a soul is saved
5 At Christmas the pope delivers a blessing known as urbi et orbi. What does that mean?
a) to all of faith and goodwill
b) to the city and the world
c) to all men and women
6 Who had a hit in 1979 with “Wonderful Christmas Time”?
a) Elton John b) Freddie Mercury c) Paul McCartney
7 Which is the earliest year in which Jesus could have been born?
a) 8 BC b) 4 BC c) 1 BC
8 What is the German name for Father Christmas?
a) Sankt Klaus
b) Vater Weihnachten
9 Which popular Christmas carol features the line “Joyful, all ye nations, rise/Join the triumph of the skies/With th’ angelic host proclaim/Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
a) Angels We Have Heard On High
b) Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
c) O Come, All Ye Faithful
10 In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, what does the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge buy the Cratchits?
a) A duck b) A goose c) A turkey
11 What does the name of the city of Bethlehem mean?
a) House of Bread
c) House of Kings
b) House of Wisdom
12 Which country declared Christmas a public holiday following a visit by a pope?
a) Cuba b) Poland c) Vietnam
13 In Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, what line did U2’s Bono sing?
a) “And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time”
b) “Here’s to them, underneath that burning sun, do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”
c) “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”
14 What bird forms part of an Irish Christmas tradition with a procession on St Stephen’s Day?
a) Dunnock b) Robin c) Wren
15 According to St Luke, who called for the census that brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem?
a) Augustus b) Phasael c) Quirinius
16 Which is the odd one out: Prancer, Blitzen, Cupid, Rudolph, Runner, Dancer, Comet?
a) Cupid b) Dancer c) Runner
17 In which century did Pope Julius I officially set the date for Christmas?
a) 3rd century b) 4th century c) 5th century
18 In which country may people wish you Merry Christmas by saying: “Melikam Gena!”
a) Ethiopia b) Ghana c) Mali
19 What did my true love give to me on the seventh day?
a) Ladies dancing
b) Maids a-milking
c) Swans a-swimming
20 How many animals does St Luke list as being present when Mary gave birth to Jesus?
a) 0 b) 2 c) 4
21 Who had a 1950s Christmas hit with “Mary’s Boy Child”?
a) Harry Belafonte b) Johnny Mathis c) Nat King Cole
22 In which country is a Julbord traditionally served for Christmas dinner?
a) Belgium b) Germany c) Sweden
23 In which century was the melody of “O Come All Ye Faithful” (or Adeste Fideles) composed?
a) 14th century
b) 16th century
c) 18th century
24 In Syria, which animal is believed to bring Christians their presents?
a) Camel b) Lamb c) Ox
25 What is myrrh, one of the three gifts the magi brought the baby Jesus?
a) Incense b) Oil c) Precious stone
1. a) Austria; 2. b) January 7; 3. a) Jacob; 4. a) an angel gets his wings; 5. b) to the city and the world; 6. c) Paul McCartney; 7. b) 4 BC (Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod, who died in 4 BC); 8. c) Weihnachtsmann; 9. b) Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; 10. c) A turkey; 11. a) House of Bread; 12. a) Cuba (after Pope John Paul II visited in 1998); 13. c) “Well, tonight…”; 14. c) Wren; 15. c) Quirinius; 16. c) Runner; 17. b) 4th century (in around 336); 18. a) Ethiopia, in the Amharic language; 19. c) Swans a-swimming; 20. a) 0 (though there might have been animals present, since the birth was in a place where animals were kept, Luke mentions none); 21. a) Harry Belafonte; 22. c) Sweden (a julbord is a cold buffet); 23. c) 18th century (it was first published in 1751); 24. a) Camel; 25. b) Oil (myrrh was an embalming oil, so the gift anticipated Jesus’ violent death)