Friday, December 27, 2013

Winter Holiday Trivia: Answers Part 1

I hope you all have enjoyed my 2013 trivia event: 25 Days of Winter Holiday Trivia. I'm still tabulating the top scores, but in the meanwhile you can check out the answers for Days 1 through 16!

Day 1

Q: What was the project for which Vince Guaraldi originally wrote and recorded "Linus and Lucy"?

A: The song was originally composed for use on a Charles Schultz documentary called A Boy Named Charlie Brown. "Linus and Lucy" appeared on Guaraldi's 1964 album, Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown, a year before it was used in the Christmas special.

Day 2

Q: What other Christmas film did It's a Wonderful Life finish ahead of in terms of 1947 box office revenues?

A: Miracle on 34th Street. Miracle placed placed 27th while Wonderful Life placed 26th in box office revenues that year. Wonderful Life made $3.3 million during its initial run.

Day 3

Q: In what country were glass Christmas ornaments first manufactured? (Bonus points if you can point to who started it and in what year).

A: Germany! (In 1847 Hans Greiner began producing glass ornaments, or Glasschmuck, in the shape of fruits and nuts. This was in the small German town of Lauscha).

Day 4

Q: What are you supposed to do after kissing under the mistletoe?

A: Pick a berry.

Day 5

Q: What is the name of the calendar introduced in the 16th century that resulted in the loss of 11 days in the calendar year and moved Christmas to December 25?

A: Gregorian Calendar. The Julian calendar was switched over to the Gregorian starting in 1582.

Day 6

Q: What was the name of MADtv's parody of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and what was the cinematic source of the parody?

A: When I originally wrote this question in the early 2000s, the parody that was in rotation was THE REINFATHER (which made liberal use of The Godfather). This is the one that always stays in my mind. However, it was one part of a trilogy. So I'll also accept RAGING RUDOLPHA PACK OF GIFTS NOW, and FULL METAL RUDOLPH (lifting from GoodfellasApocalypse Now, and Full Metal Jacket respectively) as correct answers ... if only because no one submitted REINFATHER.

Full Metal Rudolph, The Reinfather & A Pack of Gifts Now

The Reinfather Trilogy

Day 7

Q: The Welsh name for December is Rhagfyr, while the Gaelic name is An Mios marbh.
What do these names mean in English?

A: "The month of preparation" and "the dead month" (respectively).

Day 8

Q: In what country did the Advent wreath originate?

A: Germany

Day 9

Q: From where does the poinsettia hail?

A: Central America

Bonus question #1: Who is this flower named after? (A: Joseph Poinsett, US ambassador to Mexico)

Bonus question #2: What color are a poinsettia's flowers? (A: Yellow. The showy colored parts of Poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored leaves. The yellow flowers, or cyathia, are in the center.)

Day 10

Q: On what instrument did Gruber compose the melody for "Silent Night! Holy Night"?

A: Guitar

Bonus Question: Where was "Silent Night, Holy Night" first performed? (A: St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf)

Day 11

Q: Which one of Jesus' early miracles is also supposed to be a fortunate supernatural effect attributed to Christmas Eve?

A: Turning water into wine.

Day 12

Q: One-quarter of the globe, or 48 million square miles, is ________ covered at some time during the year. Worldwide, about one-third of the water used for irrigation comes from _______.   (Note: These values were accurate circa 1998 and I have not done any digging to update them; they may have shifted).

A: Snow

Day 13

Q: What was the pre-Christian purpose behind gift-giving around the end of the year?

A: To ensure good LUCK. (Anyone who did not give freely would be unlucky in the coming year).

Day 14

Q: When using a cookie press to make Scandinavian spritz cookies, it's important to be sure that the dough is ______?

A: Well-chilled

Day 15

Q: What is considered to be the first cake/cookie traditionally associated with Christmas?

A: Gingerbread

Day 16

Q: J.W. Parkinson did something in 1841 that forever changed Christmas, at least in the retail world. What did he do, and where did he do it?

A: He hired the first department store Santa! It was a big event at J.W. Parkinson's Dry Goods store in Philadelphia. It took another several years before the department store Santa caught on, but now we cannot imagine a store without one!


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